Stage 3 :: Monday August 31, 2009
189.7km :: Zutphen - Venlo
There is a great German word as coined in the movie "Top Secret": Flachmatuch. Since this is an entirely made up word, I'm going to usurp it and use it to describe a stage that is so flat that they couldn't even find a 15m hill to point to and call a Cat.4 climb. This stage... is flachmatuch.
We are still in Holland though, and Lopex and Will would like all of you to know that despite what I intimated yesterday, Emmentaller cheese comes from Switzerland, not Holland. I stand corrected and we all stand edified. Someone explain to me why the Spanish Tour is getting us to talk about the differences between Dutch and Swiss cheeses? Isn't there a Drunken Basque Goat Cheese waiting for us at some point soon? Anyway, on to Zutphen.
Gavia is ignoring waves and cheese alike to bring us today's stage preview
There are no categorized climbs on profile for this stage, and it is impressive in its flatness. With a succession of hard mountain stages on the menu later in this Vuelta, the sprinters will be happy to enjoy these early flat stages. Bold prediction: This stage will end in a sprint.
The course travels directly south from Zutphen, passing through Toldijk before crossing into Germany. The Vuelta rides for approximately 20 kilometers on German territory and will race through Emmrich Am Rhein and Nutterden. As the course passes back into Dutch territory, there is a short, uncategorized climb. Then, it’s all flat to the finish, as the race passes through Ottersum and Tuindorp. The stage finishes in Venlo on the Meuse river at an elevation of 20 meters above sea level.
Courtesy of Gavia's Stage 3 Preview at Steephill.tv
Down at Frinking's corner, out in the street, Frinkster and the Poor Boys are playing, bring a nickel, tap ya' feet... undoubtedly, Frinky's gonna send me an email tomorrow that contains valuable insight... but I'm going to be on a boat somewhere around San Clemente island, so I'll have to go with what I already have.
Then there are 2 very flat stages. The KOM jersey can be win on the only molehill they climb. It's in honour of the died men who made it possible the Vuleta start was in Assen. Only thing what could mess up the GC are Echolons!
"Echolons" ... sounds very Spanish, no? Leave it to our Dutch friends to bring the Spanish heat.
For my part, I've got nothing on this one. It's another loopy tour around Holland and the time tables for these at the Vuelta website were in a mix of Spanish and Dutch so they were harder than hades to map out. Here's hoping for some Echolons though.