Germany’s Marcel Kittel took his first victory for Katusha-Alpecin as he won the bunch sprint of stage 2 in Follonica ahead of world champion Peter Sagan. Fifth on the line, New Zealand’s Patrick Bevin of BMC Racing Team took over from his teammate, Damiano Caruso, in the lead of the overall classification.
Data collected by Velon’s devices on the riders’ bikes tells the detailed story of the stage: Data and an explanation guide can be downloaded here.
1 – Marcel Kittel (Team Katusha Alpecin) 172km in 4h12’24”, average speed 40.887kph
2 – Peter Sagan (Bora – Hansgrohe) s.t.
3 – Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek – Segafredo) s.t.
1 – Patrick Bevin (BMC Racing Team)
2 – Damiano Caruso (BMC Racing Team) s.t.
3 – Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team) s.t.
Stage 2 winner Marcel Kittel said in the press conference: “My last victory at the Tour de France in Pau was eight months, that’s a long time. It feels good to win again. This season, things weren’t going perfect straight away. We had to deal with defeat, which was part of building the team. Today’s victory brings a lot of confidence to the guys who work for me. We really believed we’d do it. Coming to Tirreno-Adriatico, I knew I was in a good shape, we kept motivating each other for today’s stage. The boys brought me in great position, so I could choose where to start my sprint. I felt very hungry and it’s wonderful to have won.”
Race leader Patrick Bevin said in the press conference: “Fifth in the stage is a great result on its own. To lead the race is a product of good teamwork and a good job done yesterday. Today, I was caught behind the crash. We got back on with 3km to go but it spread out the bunch. It changes a sprint when you have a crash like that. It’s a real privilege for me to lead such a big race. It wasn’t planned within the team this morning but some team-mates of mine came up to me and said let’s have a crack at the sprint. I’m new to this team but it shows the camaraderie. It’s weird to take the jersey from a team-mate but I guess it’s part of bike racing. It changes nothing for tomorrow, though. I’ll do my work for the team the same way I usually do it.”
Stage 3 – Follonica – Trevi 239km
The stage is very long and challenging, with several mild and not overly long climbs. However, they total a remarkable difference in altitude. The route starts in Follonica and runs across the northern province of Grosseto, almost reaching Mount Amiata. It then crosses Montalcino, heading for Chiusi. After entering Umbria through Moiano, the route becomes slightly easier all the way to Montefalco, and then enters the final circuit in Trevi, to be covered once. There are four average-category climbs: Roccastrada, Passo del Lume Spento and Cibottola along the route, and Trevi at the finish.
The final circuit is highly demanding. The Trevi climb is covered twice, first to pass over the finish line and then at the end of the stage. After the passage, the climb extends for a further 300m with gradients peaking at 16%. A fast-running descent on relatively wide roads leads to the ancient Flaminia road, and then, past Borgo Trevi, the final 3km lead all the way to the finish. The road is narrow with gradients exceeding 13-15%, and a few short descents before the final 300m, topping out at around 20%. The road is 7.5m wide on tarmac.
POINTS OF INTEREST
Follonica lies at the heart of the Gulf bearing the same name, in the Tuscan Maremma, between the promontory of Piombino and Punta Ala, opposite the Elba Island. Its strategic location and mild climate make it a popular destination for seaside, sporting, cultural and eco-tourism. The coastline is a stretch of thin, white sandy beaches, with shallow waters that gradually grow deeper. The surrounding scrubland and lush greenery offer endless possibilities for leisure, relaxation and recreation activities – not just at the beach – such as hiking, biking and horse-riding routes, breath-taking bays and wildlife sanctuaries. The gulf and the surrounding hills offer a large, diverse range of stunning landscapes with a rich history, from the turquoise blue sea, to the mountains and the woods of Cornate di Gerfalco and Montieri. Between the two, a variety of places, villages and hamlets are surrounded by unspoilt nature, with their unique customs, traditions and landscapes. Nearby are a number of must-see sites, such as the villages of Scarlino, Castiglione della Pescaia and Suvereto, the medieval city of Massa Marittima, and the archaeological sites of Populonia, Vetulonia and Roselle. Local food and wine are just as rich and varied: wine is king and is best paired with some tasty “pappardelle al cinghiale” (fresh pasta with wild boar sauce), the traditional Maremman specialty, or with more delicate, classical fish dishes, such as cacciucco.
Founded in the Roman period, not far from the Via Flaminia and the banks of River Clitunno, Trevi lies among the olive groves and is part of the “Oil Cities” circuit. It has a well-preserved Roman heritage, such as the majestic 1st-century BC walls surrounding the town centre, and medieval heritage, including Porta del Bruscito, Porta del Cieco, Porta San Fabiano and Arco del Mostaccio, which greatly contribute to the unique charm of the city. Piazza Mazzini, bounded by the 13-century Town Hall and civic tower, lies at the heart of the historic district. The verdant hill on which the town was built offers endless possibilities for open-air activities, such as guided tours, walks in the fields to look for wild herbs and learn how they were used in the rural civilisation, biking, orienteering, bird watching or horse riding. As the town and its surroundings are renowned for the production of high-quality olive oil, visiting the local oil mills is an unmissable experience to discover the entire manufacturing process, from olive feeding to oil bottling.
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