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Giro d'Italia 2023 Giro d'Italia, Stage 3: Vasto – Melfi 216 km (Monday, May 8th)

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The ProConti teams just aren't strong enough and guaranteeing wildcards to the two of them who were just relegated from the World Tour just means that there's essentially a 20-team World Tour and only two actual wildcards that the organisers have any discretion over. This is further devalued because the gaps in budget between the top two levels are getting ever higher and it's far better for most riders' careers, at least from an earning point of view, to be a domestique at a top team than a leader at a second tier team, because the second tier teams (other than those on the cusp of the World Tour or recent relegation candidates) are not strong enough that they can compete against the WT even in most smaller races, and the domestic calendars have been ravaged enough (plus the desperate hunt for UCI points in the battle to avoid relegation has meant WT teams take points off the PT teams there anyway) that they can't really offer the viable alternative that they used to.

Also, a few of their old revenue streams and ways of getting access to riders are being cut off; those contracts with Colombia or Venezuela that gave them a leg up on Latin American talent that was only being scouted by one or two teams at the higher level are now gone and successes of the Bernals, Carapazes and Higuitas of this world mean that everyone and their mother now scouts Andino cycling; plus there is no longer that steady stream of dopers and/or riders excommunicated from the top tier who they can rely on who have name value but come cheaper because of their dubious history - the likes of di Luca, Garzelli, Rebellin, Schumacher, Rasmussen, Santambrogio, Sella, Pellizotti and Riccò riding on those teams is a thing of the past. This year was the first time in a long time we had that possibility (and I guess in theory we still do), with López and Quintana both available, but it seems López prefers to smash all comers from the comfort of his own home rather than scrabble around for a lesser ride in Europe, while Quintana's asking price is too much for the likes of Burgos.
Can we blame teams for not getting into hopeless breakaways? No.
Something needs to change in my opinion, but neither shortening the stages or putting the blame on the teams seems the solution to me.

Yes, I am still arguing to reduce the size of the teams and ban radios and power-meters...
Hand out a green colored number for the leader of that sprint classification.

It used to be rewarded with the blue jersey, but since nowadays that's the mountains jersey just switch the colors of those 2 classifications.
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Who do we reckon is closest to joining that list - Gaviria?, Pogacar once he rides the Giro, Merlier?
Really depends on who will ride where in the future. Pogacar would likely get it if he rides the Giro in 2024, but also Philipsen or Jakobsen would have big chances to get it if they get respectively get 1 and 2 stage wins in the Tour this year. With Evenepoel going to the Tour in 2024 and with weaker sprint fields in the Giro compared the Tour, Jakobsen could be a prime favourite if he gets to 3 in France this year. And Bennett is also just 1 TdF stage away of getting atleast 3 in each GT.
Why should Jayco ride at the front - If it's a flat sprint, then Matthews is probably 7th to 9th fastest, if its a high mountain stage then its up to QS or Jumbo and if its a transitional stage then get riders in the break - Don't forget that Jayco is 19th in the UCI points ranking, so they are hardly a strong team.

To shed the sprinters on the climbs just like today...
To be fair most of the best riders are 22-25 and haven't raced in all three GTs. It's actually pretty crazy how good the 1998-2004 group is ...

Probably 22-28. Van Aert and Van der Poel are quite good.

An exhaustive list of current riders with 40-42 career wins consists of Van der Poel, Evenepoel, Matthews, Van Avermaet, Van Aert, Alaphilippe and Jakobsen.

It takes something to be at those numbers!
Congratulations to Michael Matthews for taking the win.

JA especially with Zana made the selection and Matthews did the rest. Nice to see Pinot didn't bluff, when he said it's my last season and i am here to race. Kuss and his acrobatic skills amazed me. When he went with his hand near rear derailleur ... Yikes. Rogla went for it today. To open the legs a bit. As the ramp will only get steeper and stepper. His sprint and positioning wasn't enough to contest the win today. Nonetheless the stats picked him up and the confidence should start to grow. Good to see Almeida didn't lost time today due to mini crash.
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I know but the rest of the team is not good.

Also, is there a reason that you must spell all rider names wrong?
Yeah I know the rest of the team is not good , but it seems that instead of going for breaks, giving Vendrame some freedom, they are racing as a gc team for APP in this Giro. A shame

Also this comment confused me for a long time until I realised I had been reading Paret-Pientre name wrong for 3 years. Maybe I have dyslexia
Two reasons for Mads Pedersen not winning the stage:
- He had to go deep to make it back into the peloton after the climb at 20 km before the finish. We know from several semi sprinter stages in the Grand Tours that sprinters who are in trouble out on the course often underperform at the finish.
- The last 2-300 meters were steeper than I had expected. Not the worst thing for Mads Pedersen under normal circumstances, but Matthews is so good at it.
- Mads Pedersen perhaps hesitated slightly after the final corner (he has mentioned that himself in an interview). But if he had been stronger than Matthews, he still would have made it past him before the line.
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Why should Jayco ride at the front - If it's a flat sprint, then Matthews is probably 7th to 9th fastest, if its a high mountain stage then its up to QS or Jumbo and if its a transitional stage then get riders in the break - Don't forget that Jayco is 19th in the UCI points ranking, so they are hardly a strong team.
And if it was stage like yesterday and you’ve got a rider like Matthews you ride on the front, they had a plan and it worked.
chapeau to Matthews and Jayco - went as planned. Almeid dodged a bullet and Pinot as KOM - good for him. Best part of stage? Jumbo & QS at the front of the peloton fighting it out for positions. A mention in despatches for the 2 guys in the break - a thankless task for so much effort.