Giro d’Italia 2014: Grande Partenza – five observations

Michael Matthews marches on but Marcel Kittel plays down red jersey chances

The Grande Partenza of the 97th edition of the Giro d’Italia put the island of Ireland on the cycling map in a big way as the Corsa Rosa was given a fitting send-off.

Rain may have fallen throughout the weekend but it did little to dampen the spirits of the crowds or to deny Marcel Kittel two stunning stage wins.

Orica-GreenEDGE, too, leave Ireland with plenty to celebrate as their stunning season continued with team time trial success and the maglia rosa.

Birthday boy Svein Tuft is lifted on to the shoulders of his team-mates on the stage one podium (pic: Sirotti)

And as the peloton heads to southern Italy, we have learned plenty from the race already over the first three days.

We have already looked at how the ‘luck of the Irish’ deserted home rider Dan Martin and how Belfast has set the standard for Yorkshire’s Tour de France Grand Depart.

Now read on for five more observations from the three stages on the Emerald Isle, and add your own in the RCUK Forum.

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