Well that was pretty great!
If the goal of the Grande Partenza was to bring exceptional bicycle racing to a new level, then this year’s three-day Grande Partenza of the Giro d’Italia, in Hungary, was nothing short of a huge success.
Fans packed the roadside to Budapest and beyond as some of the greatest cyclists of our time put on a magnificent show. From the ever-resurgent Mark Cavendish, to up-and-coming Biniam Girmay to the inspiring Mathieu van der Poel, the riders of this year’s race assured the Giro a memorable start, before the race returned to Italy, and more specifically, Sicily.
Mark Cavendish was all smiles as he rolled to the start of stage 1, at Hero’s Square in downtown Budapest, on Friday.
These Eritrean fans waited for hours to get this strategic spot in front of the sign-in podium on the opening stage, excited to get a glimpse of the Giro and their new national hero, Biniam Girmay.
The pack rolled across Liberty Bridge as it left Budapest on stage one.
Fans packed the roads as Biniam Girmay and Mathieu van der Poel led the charge to the finish of stage one.
Riders raced past the magnificent Houses of Parliament mid-way through the stage two time trial.
Mathieu van der Poel celebrated a day well spent in the maglia rosa at the victory podium atop Castle Hill.
Fans packed the roadside along stage three that looped around Lake Balaton southeast of Budapest.
Mathieu van der Poel sure looked pretty in pink as he cruised through the marshlands of Lake Balaton on stage three.
Meanwhile, Van der Poel’s Alpecin Fenix teammates kept a steady pace at the front.
Cavendish powered to his 15th career stage victory in the Giro d’Italia.
And of course, Cavendish was all smiles on the podium.