Giro d’Italia: Stage 1

Lukas Pöstlberger surprises the sprinters by gapping them and winning stage 1 of the 100th Edition of the Giro d’Italia

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Giro d’Italia: Stage 1


The sun shone in Sardinia for the opening stage of the centennial Giro d’Italia and although a brisk headwind delayed the arrival of the peloton for the finish, it did not impede a frenzied ending to the 206-kilometre race. The danger lurked in the last three kilometres where the short twist and turns held the bunch back from organising itself.

Photo: pelotonphotos.com

Lukas Pöstlberger benefited from this confusion and accelerated just before the ultimate kilometre and stayed ahead until the finish to grab his first pro victory and the first maglia rosa of the historic 100th Giro. Arriving on his heels, the fastmen mopped up the minor places with Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) taking first of the bunch ahead of Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) and Giacomo Nizzolo.


The day’s big break…
The first stage of the one hundred edition of the Giro d’Italia was a flat stage of 206 kilometres and it wasn’t long before the break of the day was formed. Right after the start Maestri, Marcin Bialoblocki, Brutt, Benedetti, Teklehaimanot and Zhupa escaped from the bunch. These last four riders stayed ahead until the final kilometres.

Overall contenders Nairo Quintana of Movistar and Geraint Thomas of Team Sky finished safely in the peloton as did Adam Yates despite the disruption caused by a late crash, which was just outside the 3km cut-off point which guarantees riders will not lose time because of an incident. However, not everyone was so lucky as some riders conceded more than a minute in the late confusion, with LottoNL-Jumbo’s general classification hopeful Steven Kruijswijk giving up 13 seconds. With time bonuses applied, Postlberger leads the race by four seconds from Ewan.


Lukas Postlberger “We wanted to try for a sprint for the final for Sam (Bennett). Through the city, the leadout trains, I don’t know, they lost my wheel or something and I had a gap” said Postlberger, who became the first Austrian to wear the pink jersey. “I heard over the radio, ‘C’mon, Posty go try!’ and I gave it everything. It worked out: victory for the team, first professional victory for me, Maglia rosa.”

Caleb Ewan: “It was a really strong move by (Lukas Postlberger),” Ewan said. “It was a hectic finish and sometimes a moment’s hesitation can lose the race. There’s not many opportunities to take the pink jersey so obviously it’s bitter sweet to finish second but there are more days to come and you have to congratulate the move.”

Photo: pelotonphotos.com

André Greipel: “The finale was really hectic. We couldn’t stay together as a team. Jasper De Buyst brought me in a good position but what Pöstlberger did here is very impressive. He stayed well ahead but this shouldn’t be a surprise because he is a strong rider. He proved that this year with his fifth place in the E3 Harelbeke. Not everyone can remain ahead of a bunch that wants to sprint for the victory. I wanted to sprint for pink but Pöstlberger proved to be the strongest. We will be looking for another opportunity in the next couple of days. “

Giacomo Nizzolo: “It was a surprising ending, but sometimes with a lot of corners this can happen and today that was the case,” said Nizzolo. “There was nothing that didn’t work; the team came to collect me, and I was in good position for the finale. It was a very technical finish and not having fantastic condition I knew I had to take advantage of the others’ slipstreams and that’s what I did. I don’t think I made any mistakes, I just didn’t have the legs. In these technical finishes, you have to make sure you are well positioned; I was there, but I am still lacking a little bit of condition.”

Fernando Gaviria  made his Grand Tour debut was 12th place “Today’s stage was hard, and the technical finish made things even more complicated. The team did a great job chasing the escapees, but in the last kilometers, after the crash, it became very difficult to be in control of the whole situation. Coming into the last roundabout, I wasn’t well-placed and my ambitions for a good result today came to an end there. But it’s only the beginning of the race and there will be other opportunities.

Cesare Benedetti (KoM leader) “It was clear that there will be a group right from the beginning. After we have no Leo here, our plan was to fight for everything we can get. I was told to try and go for the KOM’s today. When I was in the group I concentrated on those mountain sprints It is great to have a leader’s jersey here in the 100th Giro, I am so happy, but it was unbelievable to be on the podium out there with Lukas. What a day for us.

Photo: pelotonphotos.com – the break with Marcin Bialoblocki

Photo: pelotonphotos.com


… continued after advert

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Stage 1
1. Lukas Pöstlberger Bora – Hansgrohe
2. Caleb Ewan ORICA-Scott
3. André Greipel Lotto Soudal
4. Giacomo Nizzolo Trek – Segafredo
5. Sacha Modolo UAE Team Emirates
6. Kristian Sbaragli Dimension Data
7. Jasper Stuyven Trek – Segafredo
8. Ryan Gibbons Dimension Data
9. Sam Bennett Bora – Hansgrohe
10. Phil Bauhaus Team Sunweb

12. Fernando Gaviria Quick-Step Floors
18. Geraint Thomas Team Sky
23. Vincenzo Nibali Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team
25. Nairo Quintana Movistar Team
27. Adam Yates ORICA-Scott
28. Tom Dumoulin Team Sunweb
30. Rohan Dennis BMC Racing Team
49. Bauke Mollema Trek – Segafredo
135. Giovanni Visconti Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team 1:09
156. Hugh Carthy Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team
185. Alex Howes Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team 2:49
187. Marcin Bialoblocki CCC Sprandi Polkowice

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