Maarten Tjallingii grabbed the mountain jersey during the third stage of the Giro d’Italia. The experienced rider of Team LottoNL-Jumbo was part of the breakaway for the second time this weekend and won the mountain sprint on the Posbank. Marcel Kittel (Etixx - Quick Step) won the stage and grabbed the overall lead. Moreno Hofland finished seventh. Primoz Roglic crashed in the final part of the stage and lost almost eight minutes.
What Tjallingii failed to do on Saturday, he did today. He won the mountain sprint on the Posbank and grabbed the lead in the mountain classification. “I gave it all to win that sprint,” he said, wearing the blue jersey. “The crowd encouraged me. The people were screaming so loud that I didn’t feel my legs anymore. I wanted this so badly. I was focussed on this jersey. After the top of the Posbank, I exploded. I was barely able to keep on pedalling.”
Signs of support
The crowd impressed the Dutch WorldTour team. “I saw all the signs of support,” Sports Director Addy Engels said. “It was wonderful. Maarten rewarded himself for these two beautiful days. This mountain jersey is fantastic for him.”
Tjallingii’s win was overshadowed partly by Primoz Roglic’s crash in the final part of the stage. The Slovenian, who was second overall at the start, was involved in a big crash on the beginning of the final local lap together with Martijn Keizer.
“His crash is a real setback,” Engels continued. “We weren’t counting on him in the general classification this Giro, but to lose those aspirations due to a crash is very annoying.”
After Roglic’s crash, Team LottoNL-Jumbo must think about other targets. “It immediately became clear that he wouldn’t be able to come back so we had to move on,” Engels added. “We just kept Steven Kruijswijk in front and Moreno got another chance to go for the bunch sprint. It’s good that he finished seventh. He delivered a strong final 200 metres, but had to come from too far behind.”
On Monday, the peloton will fly to the south of Italy. “These days were special,” Engels added. “They felt like three national holidays. Tomorrow won’t feel like a rest day. We have to wake up early, so that’s always tiresome. Tuesday, will be too hard for the sprinters. That stage might suit Enrico Battaglin and we must keep Steven in the best possible position another time.”