Racing recap

Leaving Hungary, for more | Giro d’Italia Grande Partenza racing recap

Giro d'Italia

Pink flags and banners adorned the streets of Budapest and Hungary as a whole, as the Grande Partenza of this year’s Giro d’Italia arrived, two years later than expected. That delay only seemed to make the adoring fans who lined the roads even more fervent as the bunch took on three days of action; with a little bit of something for everyone. The team’s main focus was to get through the three days unscathed, still be up in the GC fight and to achieve some solid day results – something that we think can be ticked off.

Stage 1: Budapest to Visegrád (195 kilometres)

It was a steady start to proceedings as the bunch rolled out of Budapest, but the day slowly built to a crescendo as they made their way towards the punchy four kilometre climb to the line. Riding well as a group all day, the guys stayed towards the front of the bunch to avoid any potential first day nervousness as much as possible, before positioning Romain Bardet for the finale. Romain stayed with the main bunch, navigating any stresses and ended the day on the same time as the majority of the other GC contenders.

Speaking after the stage Romain said: “The first day of a grand tour is always stressful, especially with this finish. We did a super good job as a team to always stay in a good position. Until the last climb, we sat all day in the front and the guys did a super job. I made a couple of not so good decisions in the last kilometre so I couldn’t sprint for the win but we didn’t lose too much time so are in the game. I’m happy to have the first day done and I think it was a good start to the race.”


Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 VAN DER POEL Mathieu Alpecin-Fenix 4:35:28 100
2 GIRMAY Biniam Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux ,, 40
3 BILBAO Pello Bahrain - Victorious ,, 20
22 BARDET Romain Team DSM 0:04 -
55 ARENSMAN Thymen Team DSM 0:19 -
93 HAMILTON Chris Team DSM 1:36 -
127 TUSVELD Martijn Team DSM 2:47 -
131 BOL Cees Team DSM 3:43 -
133 DAINESE Alberto Team DSM 3:54 -
141 COMBAUD Romain Team DSM 4:08 -
168 DENZ Nico Team DSM 6:21 -

Stage 2: Budapest to Budapest (9.2 kilometres)

Saturday’s racing saw the peloton take on an almost miniature version of the opening day’s action, with a 9.2 kilometre long time trial that started on flat and technical roads through the city of Budapest before a short 1.2 kilometre, partially cobbled, climb to finish. The goal for the majority of the team was to get through the stage in a good way, while Thymen Arensman and Romain Bardet would go all-out against the clock. Both riders completed good runs, with Thymen claiming a nice tenth place finish on the stage while Romain wasn’t far behind either in 17th.

“It was a pretty technical course that suited the punchy riders,” expressed Thymen after his run. “We were talking about it in the bus and it was almost like a cyclocross race today. It was about going full towards the corners and accelerating out of them, which isn’t my strongest suit. We did a good time trial today though as a team, especially Romain, and I’m looking forward to supporting him throughout the three weeks.”


Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 YATES Simon Team BikeExchange - Jayco 11:50 100
2 VAN DER POEL Mathieu Alpecin-Fenix 0:03 40
3 DUMOULIN Tom Jumbo-Visma 0:05 20
10 ARENSMAN Thymen Team DSM 0:18 -
17 BARDET Romain Team DSM 0:24 -
69 TUSVELD Martijn Team DSM 0:45 -
97 HAMILTON Chris Team DSM 0:58 -
100 DENZ Nico Team DSM ,, -
103 DAINESE Alberto Team DSM 0:59 -
120 COMBAUD Romain Team DSM 1:06 -
165 BOL Cees Team DSM 1:27 -

Stage 3: Kaposvár to Balatonfüred (201 kilometres) 

After a stage for the puncheurs and a race against the clock, the final day of racing in Hungary saw a day destined to be decided by the fast men with the riders taking on a predominantly flat 201 kilometre route. With a three rider breakaway escaping from the gun, it was a long day in the saddle for the guys, where concentration and staying focused would be important to avoid any mishaps. Thankfully, there were no crashes and heading into the final the team looked to set up fast finisher Alberto Dainese for the sprint. Unfortunately, with everyone so fresh and on fast roads, the final was hectic and the team lost their position towards the front at the flamme rouge. Alberto fought back to a solid ninth place but the determined Italian hopes for more in the days to come.

“We rode well together well at the final to keep everyone safe at the front,” explained Dainese. “The last kilometres were very chaotic and super fast. We did our best to keep to the front right but on the last roundabout we were a bit too far back. It was then downhill towards the finish and I couldn’t pass many riders anymore. We will try again next time.”


Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 CAVENDISH Mark Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team 4:56:39 100
2 DÉMARE Arnaud Groupama - FDJ ,, 40
3 GAVIRIA Fernando UAE Team Emirates ,, 20
9 DAINESE Alberto Team DSM ,, -
13 BOL Cees Team DSM ,, -
31 ARENSMAN Thymen Team DSM ,, -
38 BARDET Romain Team DSM ,, -
49 DENZ Nico Team DSM ,, -
140 COMBAUD Romain Team DSM ,, -
153 TUSVELD Martijn Team DSM ,, -
156 HAMILTON Chris Team DSM ,, -

Reflecting on the Grande Partenza as a whole, Team DSM coach Matt Winston said: “I think overall, we can be happy that we’ve came out of Hungary in a good way. The guys have rode really well together each day and we’ve stuck to our plans well. We’re still up there in the GC fight and took a solid top ten in the first bunch sprint, so we have something to build on in the coming days in Italy where we hope to continue to show ourselves at the front.

We hope you all enjoy the early rest day and we’ll see you back on the road tomorrow, as we go climbing to Mount Etna – a potentially explosive stage…

Team DSM