GIRO – Michael Matthews Move into the Maglia Rosa


Michael Matthews moves into the Maglia Rosa whilst Marcel Kittel wins the first road stage of the 2014 Giro d’Italia – Ben Swift 7th

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GIRO – Michael Matthews Move into the Maglia Rosa

Press Release – Orica GreenEdge
Svein Tuft started stage two of the Giro d’Italia in the maglia rosa. By stage end, Michael Matthews had pulled on the coveted pink jersey. Matthews, the sixth Australian to lead the Italian Grand Tour, only needed to finish five spots ahead of his teammate to jump to the top of the leader’s board. A split in the bunch moved Matthews three seconds ahead of his ORICA-GreenEDGE teammates on the general classification.

“It’s an incredible feeling,” said Matthews. “It’s really hard to describe how amazing it was to be up on the stage getting the pink jersey. It’s an honour to be given the jersey from Svein and a real privilege to be able to wear it in my first Giro.”

The rainy day did not deter the Northern Irish from turning out en masse to cheer on the peloton for the first Giro d’Italia road stage. The early attacks began from the gun. Maarten Tjallingii (Belkin) was the first rider to take a sizeable advantage. Jeffry Romero (Colombia) Sander Armee (Lotto Belisol) and Andrea Fedi (Neri Sottoli-Yellow Fluo) bridged across to the lone leader, making the day’s break a four rider move.

With Tuft in pink, the Australian outfit dutifully assumed its spot at the front of the peloton. The breakaway opened up a 6’30 advantage within the first hour of racing at which point ORICA-GreenEDGE lifted the tempo ever-so-slightly, pegging the four back by about a minute. For the next 100 kilometres, the break’s advantage would hold steady between five and six minutes.

“Today’s stage had the potential to be very tricky,” said Sport Director Matt White. “We rode in the beautiful countryside, but as we saw, the weather is very erratic. The wind was down, so it was a lot calmer than we expected. The boys were in the safest position in the bunch most of the day – on the front. They rode well to control the peloton all day.”

When it was time to chase, Giant-Shimano lent troops to the efforts. Twenty kilometres from the finish, the escape group’s advantage had shrunk to one minute. Tjallingii made one last attempt to evade the peloton, attacking his breakmates eight kilometres from the finish. The peloton swallowed him up just before the three kilometre mark. By that point, the sprint trains had begun to take shape.

“It was a long and wet stage, so we really needed to stay focused all day,” said Matthews. “The guys did a great job keeping it all together and getting me into the right position for the finish.”

Matthews remained well-positioned into the critical left-hand bend 300 metres from the line at which point he found himself slightly swamped. Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) was the first to open his sprint, but Marcel Kittel (Giant Shimano) was able to respond. Kittel snagged his first Giro d’Italia win ahead of Bouhanni in second and Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek Factory Racing) in third. Matthews managed eighth in the sprint.

“Michael is our sprinter here, and obviously the goal today was to control the peloton and put Michael into as good as position as possible until what we knew would be a very technical last corner,” said White. “It worked very well, and with the split in the bunch, we actually put some time into our rivals.”

“The next couple of days, the goal is to keep the jersey on Michael’s back,” White added. “When we get some uphill, who knows? We might have the opportunity to change the jersey again to Pieter Weening or Ivan Santaromita.”

Hatrick for Marcel Kittel – Giant Shimano
Marcel Kittel has completed the hat trick of winning a stage in all three Grabd Tours today as he took victory on stage 2 of the 97th Giro d’Italia. “I am so happy with how it worked out today, and to get the Giro off to a great start for not only me but the whole team,” said Marcel after the stage.”

“The finish went quite well considering it was pretty hard to get a lead-out going on the technical run-in. The guys set me up in position and even though I was a bit isolated I managed to come round the others in the last few hundred metres.”

“This was our target, getting the Giro off to the best start possible on the flat sprint stages here in Ireland and to re-pay the team here for their confidence and hard work is a great feeling.”

“I have prepared really well for this race with a lot of specific sprint training followed by a hard week in Romandie which even though I didn’t manage to contest the sprints it was still good for the conditioning. It has got me in good shape for the start of the Giro here and it is good to make the most of this.”

“Tomorrow is another day and another stage but we don’t have the lead to defend so there is no immediate pressure, however we will be looking to carry on from where we finished today and to keep challenging here at the Giro.”

1 KITTEL Marcel Team Giant-Shimano 05:13:12
3 NIZZOLO Giacomo Trek Factory Racing
4 VIVIANI Elia Cannondale
5 FERRARI Roberto Lampre-Merida
6 BELLETTI Manuel Androni Giocattoli – Venezuela
7 SWIFT Ben Team Sky
8 MATTHEWS Michael Orica GreenEDGE
9 APPOLLONIO Davide AG2R La Mondiale
10 FARRAR Tyler Garmin Sharp
19 BOASSON HAGEN Edvald Team Sky
30 QUINTANA Nairo Movistar Team
31 CUNEGO Damiano Lampre-Merida
33 URAN Rigoberto Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
34 ROCHE Nicolas Tinkoff-Saxo
56 EVANS Cadel BMC Racing Team

1 MATTHEWS Michael Orica GreenEDGE 05:37:54
2 DURBRIDGE Luke Orica GreenEDGE 00:03
4 TUFT Svein Orica GreenEDGE
5 WEENING Pieter Orica GreenEDGE
6 MEYER Cameron Orica GreenEDGE
7 URAN Rigoberto Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 00:08
8 BRAMBILLA Gianluca Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
9 SERRY Pieter Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
10 PETACCHI Alessandro Omega Pharma – Quick-Step



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