Alejandro Valverde, Mikel Landa and Wilco Kelderman have all criticised the start to the 2022 Vuelta a Espana, suggesting that the route was too narrow and technical to accommodate such a large peloton.
Three weeks of racing at the final Grand Tour of the year commenced with three days in the Netherlands, incorporating a team time-trial and two pan-flat sprinting days which provided few stern tests as Sam Bennett took back-to-back wins.
Despite this, some of the riders felt unable to relax, with a twisting route through a number of villages providing plenty of trouble in the form of road furniture and tight bends causing nervous racing.
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Though the peloton avoided major incident, both Lotto-Soudal's Steff Cras and Michael Woods of Israel-Premier Tech were forced to abandon after crashes.
And though praising the support of a strong and typically passionate Dutch crowd, Kelderman felt his native roads are perhaps best avoided.
"I didn't really enjoy it, I have to say," the Bora-Hangsrohe rider, who is bound for Jumbo-Visma in the close season, admitted.
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"So many bends and cobbles, [Dutch province] Brabant is not really made for a big Tour. When you ride with a peloton through all those small streets with all those turns and then you have to accelerate, that's really tough."
The race continues on more familiar terrain in the Spanish Basque Country after a travel day, with Stage Four beginning in Vitoria-Gasteiz.
Bahrain-Victorious' Mikel Landa admitted he was pleased to return home unscathed.
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"The stages were very nervous," Landa revealed. "There were a lot of speed bumps on the road and we rode on a lot of roads we are not used to.
"We are happy to get out of here."
Veteran Valverde, riding his final Grand Tour as he prepares for retirement, agreed with his compatriot, holding back his strongest views but evidently displeased by the three-stage Dutch swing.
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"In general we had a lot of scares on the bike," the Movistar rider said to AS.
“I don’t want to say more because I will get angry. They cannot have these types of circuits. It seems like we went through the same town seven times. I didn’t crash, only because we were controlling things incredibly well.
"But it's better if I don't say more about it, otherwise I might say things I regret."
No significant general classification contenders have yet lost major time on the road, with Jumbo-Visma still in possession of the red jersey after taking the opening time-trial.
Edoardo Affini will wear the race leader's jersey on Tuesday's fourth stage, which includes two categorised climbs and a punchy final ramp to the finish line in Laguardia.
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Stream La Vuelta live and on-demand on discovery+. You can also watch all the action live on eurosport.co.uk.
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