Pozzovivo’s apparently not too bad considering he’s been hospitalised with head injuries

Speaking about being held up by a crash on stage two, Domenico Pozzovivo said: “I try to console myself, saying that the time lost isn’t as important as getting injured and I got through it okay.”

A few hours later, he’d crashed. And not just your average slide-off-and-expose-your-buttocks-through-ripped-shorts crash. This was a bad one. He landed on his head and face and there was literally blood on the road. After being airlifted to hospital, he spoke to his family and the general feeling is that he’s basically as okay as it’s possible to be when you’ve just been airlifted to hospital.

With no Brits in the race and my favourite rider now out, I’m going to have to forge some new meaningless affections in the next week or so, but no matter – that’s half the joy of a Grand Tour.

Stage three was won by overall race leader Michael Matthews, who dedicated his victory to our man. When there’s talk of ‘a tough day for the sprinters’ it’s generally a good day for Matthews, who is the most uphill-adept of their number. And so it proved.

Stage four

One harder than stage three. Matthews again? Phil Gilbert? Simon Gerrans? Whoever wins, hopefully sickening front wheel slides on downhill bends won’t feature.