Kittel wins again in Giro d’Italia and takes the pink jersey

Marcel Kittel won his second consecutive stage at the Giro d’Italia and took the maglia rosa from Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin). Kittel opened up his sprint from 200 metres out and was several bike lengths clear of Sky’s Elia Viviani as he crossed the line.

Unlike yesterday’s stage, the one on Sunday was more nervous, because of the narrow roads and the strong crosswinds, which at one point led to an important split in the pack. Despite a gap that sat at half a minute, it was all back together for the final 50 kilometers, when the sprinters’ teams went after the day’s escape, which included Julen Amezqueta (Willier-Southeast), Giacomo Berlato (Nippo-Vini Fantini), Maarten Tjallingii (LottoNL Jumbo) and Johan Van Zyl (Dimension Data).

From that group, Van Zyl gave it a go inside the final 12 kilometers and opened a substantial gap of one minute, which prompted an incredible response from Bob Jungels, as the Luxembourg champion took the front of the bunch and rode full gas to close that margin. In the final two kilometers, Matteo Trentin and Fabio Sabatini led out Marcel Kittel, who nabbed another commanding victory, leaving everyone else behind with 200 meters to go, thus allowing himself enough time to celebrate win number 13 in Grand Tours and his first ever maglia rosa.

“Maybe today’s stage looked easy on the roadbook, but it wasn’t. There were small roads and crosswinds, so the peloton was very nervous. Everyone tried to stay in the best position and it was a real fight out there. Many teams were reluctant to help us, so we had to push hard in order to reel in the break, and this only shows how super strong we are. The team was unbelievable, went full gas at the end to close the gap on the last rider in the breakaway, and I must thank them. I am very happy for the way things worked out today”, said Kittel immediately after the stage.

Marcel Kittel, just the fifth German rider (and the first in ten years) to wear the pink jersey, also made an analysis of the opening week-end: “I started here with a focus on doing a good time trial and the result I got on Saturday gave me even more confidence for what was to follow. I won both road stages, but I wouldn’t have done it without my teammates, who were fantastic in these past days; there really isn’t more that I could have asked them. It’s a real honour to wear the maglia rosa for the first time in my career, it’s a special feeling and I will enjoy every moment of having it.”

Giro d’Italia 2016 – stage 3 results (Nijmegen – Arnhem):

1 Marcel Kittel (Etixx – Quick-Step)


2 Elia Viviani (Sky)


3 Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo)


4 André Greipel (Lotto Soudal)


5 Alexander Porsev (Katusha)


6 Kristian Sbaragli (Dimension Data)


7 Moreno Hofland (LottoNl-Jumbo)


8 Arnaud Demare (FDJ)


9 Rick Zabel (BMC)


10 Matej Mohoric (Lampre – Merida)



General classification after stage 3:

1 Marcel Kittel (Etixx – Quick-Step)


2 Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin)


3 Andrey Amador (Movistar)


4 Tobias Ludvigsson (Giant-Alpecin)


5 Moreno Moser (Cannondale)


6 Bob Jungels (Etixx – Quick-Step)


7 Matthias Brandle (IAM)


8 Roger Kluge (IAM)


9 Chad Haga (Giant-Alpecin)


10 Georg Preidler (Giant-Alpecin)