Cycling race Giro d’Italia kicks off in Apeldoorn today
The Giro d'Italia cycling race is starting in Apeldoorn today with a 9.8 kilometer time trial. King Willem-Alexander will be in the Gelderland city to see the start of the 99th edition of the race, according to his schedule on Koninklijk Huis.
The first cyclist kicks off at 1:45 p.m. and the last cyclist is set to finish around 5:45 p.m. The starting point is at the Omnisport Velodrome. The route consist of flat roads, which means the day's victory is almost certainly in the hands of a time trialist, according to NU.
Favorites to win today are Dutch Tom Dumoulin and Swiss Fabian Cancellara, with Dumoulin being slightly favored by the bookies. Dutchman Jos van Emden is also getting good odds, RTL reports. Today's winner will wear the pink leader-jersey on Saturday.
Cyclists will follow the following route: Zutphenstraat, Deventerstraat, Noorderlaan, Kanaal Noord, Edinsonlaan, Boerhaavestraat, Generaal van Heutszlaan, Generaal van Swietenlaan, Kerklaan, Grote Kerk, Jachtlaan and the finish line is on Loolaan. The first intermediate time will be clocked after 4.8 kilometers, on Generaal van Heutszlaan.
King Willem-Alexander will follow the entire first stage in Apeldoorn today, AD reports. He will be present at the start, follow in a car and also attend the awards ceremony afterwards.
The Giro usually starts on a Saturday, but as the start in the Netherlands requires an additional travel day, the race is starting a day earlier this year.
The next to stages are also in the Netherlands. On Saturday the racers will cycle from Arnhem to Nijmegen and on Sunday from Nijmegen back to Arnhem. After the weekend they are taking a plane to Italy for the remaining 18 stages.
This is the third time that the Giro d'Italia is having its opening weekend in the Netherlands. The first two times were in Groningen in 2002 and in Amsterdam in 2010.