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Giro Stage 03 Preview: Amsterdam - Middelburg

Stage 03 :: Monday May 10, 2010
209km :: Amsterdam - Middelburg

How does La Gazzetta dello Sport describe tomorrow's stage to Middelburg: "plain".  Now that's just not very charitable is it.  From what I can tell, it's far from plain to start three stages in a row from the same town, and all the pictures I've seen of Middelburg make it look like a downright charming Dutch town, complete with canals and badass churches.  Not only that, but the route travels across the crinkled coastline of Holland, so if Frinky doesn't use the word "echolon" in Frinking's Corner, I'll be disappointed (ed: I would like to point out that I wrote this on Thursday May 6th, and Frinky emailed me his comments on Friday May 7th)

Gavia, hit us with your best shot... fire away:

While Gavia composes her missive about stage 03, I was curious... have you heard?

Frinking's Corner needs a theme song:

Yeeaaaah! Gav have done some Dutch monument world famous words about our dams no? The way we go.. Is over them.. With windforce 7 north-east we get an exciting race! ECHOLONS! Yeah baby.. Bye Garzell, Scarponi, Evans and Sastre.. Liquigas is the only capable team of doing this.. Well with Rabo.. D'uuuh.. 1 Sabatini 2 Brown.. So.. decisive stage here.. 
I say.. 2% chance this is the outcome.. But a boy can dream no?

Don Don Donovan!

I just liked to say that...

Chris says he'll wait for the replay. Never know what can happen with a nasty crosswind though...

Action: Another virtually identical race? By the end it may feel that way, though the route to Middelberg goes along the coast, including some long water crossings (up to 10km??), so crosswinds could come into play. This could be more exciting than stage 2, easily.

Pageantry: After the highs and lows of the first weekend, it's down to business for the last of the Holland showcase stages. Look for plenty of windmills and shots of Old Middelberg. Also, this will likely be the first time in history that the Giro has gone below sea level, at least on purpose. The RAI staff's tearful video farewell to the Netherlands should be unwatchable.

The Plan: Watch the replay on the trainer. Monday nights are peaceful, and since Tuesday is a travel day, waiting will help break up the interminable 45-hour break between live races.

You can definitely see after the feed zone in Zuidland, that we stop dribbling about inland and go straight out to the coast.  The timetables published by the race organizers typically show when tunnels are involved, and they don't show a single one here, so my assumption then is that, as Chris mentions above, all the times the little pink line crosses the blue patches, they are on a bridge... in the elements.  This really could be fun!

I wonder how this Giro compares to other grand tours in terms of total kilometers spent riding next to the beach.  Seriously, the second week has about a billion clicks running along every beach on the Adriatic that RCS could find.