Giro d’Italia: Stage 2

Number 100 in the 100th Edition of the Giro d’Italia, André Greipel sprinted to his 22nd Grand Tour stage win on Saturday

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Giro d’Italia: Stage 2


The 2nd stage of the Giro d’Italia saw the peloton leave Olbia on a 220km journey to Tortoli.

André Greipel received bib number one hundred for the hundredth edition of the Giro d’Italia. It’s a special number and the German did it justice. Yesterday Pöstlberger outsmarted everyone, but today The Gorilla demonstrated his pure power and sprinted to victory.

For the first time in his career he received the pink jersey and claimed his 22nd stage win in a Grand Tour. In twelve consecutive Grand Tours, he has won at least one stage. So far Greipel has won seven Giro stages.

The second stage went 221 kilometres throughout the up-and-down Sardinian landscape. The stage started in Olbia and finished in Tortolì. It didn’t take long before a breakaway was established. Teklehaimanot, Koshevoy, Andreetta, Owsian and Shalunov were the escapees of the day, after some attempts had failed earlier. Four of the five riders stayed ahead until the last climb, only Andreetta was already dropped before the climb.


On paper the Genna Silana, a second category climb of almost twenty kilometres, seemed ideal to decide the race, but there were no big accelerations from the bunch. An almost complete peloton started the descent of around thirty kilometres. Bahrain – Merida determined the pace in the descent and got the peloton completely stretched out, causing trouble for some riders, including Zakarin. In the last kilometres the teams of the sprinters could organise themselves. André Greipel was well-placed at the front of the bunch, surrounded by his teammates.

Jasper De Buyst pulled the sprint rather early with an enormous effort and André Greipel finished it off in style. Roberto Ferrari became second and Jasper Stuyven finished third. Tomorrow Greipel will defend his pink jersey in a new sprint stage.

André Greipel: “It’s an honour to win a stage in the Giro and to wear the pink jersey. There are a few moments in your career as a sprinter where you can get hold of the leader’s jersey in a Grand Tour. You can feel a euphoric pink atmosphere here in Italy and even more because it’s the one hundred edition. They are totally in love with cycling so to wear this pink jersey on stage was an incredible feeling.”

“We didn’t really count on a sprint today but obviously we had a plan. We hoped a small group would escape from the bunch and that Bora would control the gap, and they did. The pace on the long climb was doable. I expected more attacks from the better descenders inthe bunch, but the headwind on the climb and in the finale played in the advantage of the sprinters.”


“In the descent it was important to stay focused and not to be surprised by splits in the peloton. In the finale I pushed myself forward and with the support of my teammates I reached the front of the bunch. We got an unexpected opportunity to sprint again. Just like yesterday, at four and a halve kilometres from the finish, there was a crucial point with small and twisty roads. It was key to be at the front of the bunch and we were. Jasper De Buyst pulled the sprint well, but I felt I would end up too early in front, so I let Mezgec in between. I ended up winning the stage and this was an amazing feeling.”

“For the team and myself this is very special. It has been a difficult season so far. A Belgian team is expected to show itself in the Classics and we didn’t this year. Our next goal was to straighten our backs for the rest of the season and this is a great start. To be honest, our Giro is already a success but of course now we want more. But let us enjoy this victory and the pink jersey first.”
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Jasper Stuyven (Trek Segafredo) : “I think I did a good sprint and I am happy with the result since it wasn’t the best day for me with the headwind,” said Stuyven. “I was hoping for a harder stage, so I was happy when Bahrain (Merida) started to pull really hard on the bumps after the cat-2 climb and made it really hard. So at least it was a little bit of suffering. It was a good sprint, a tailwind,” explained Stuyven. “I think I was too far back with one kilometer to go and I was lucky to grab a rider’s wheel who was riding to the front. I like to get in the mix, and like I said I need harder stages so that sprinters like Greipel are dropped. If not, I just try and make the best of it, and sometimes it ends up in a nice podium.”

Daniel Teklehaimanot (Dimension Data) (KoM Leader) Teklehaimanot won both intermediate sprints and the main category 2 climb of the stage. This saw Teklehaimanot take the lead in the King of the Mountains competitions and pull on the coveted Maglia Azzurra after the stage.


“I want to thank the team for giving me this chance. Yesterday I tried hard in the break but I didn’t get anything, today I won. I think I was a little fortunate as I was getting tired on the last climb and the peloton was coming. I just saved as much energy as I could and then gave it everything just before the top. The climb was important as it had the most points. It’s unbelievable to have taken the jersey in the Tour de France and in this special 100th Giro d’Italia. It is incredible to be on the podium of these grand tours and I am very happy today.”

Roberto Ferrari (UAE Team Emirates) “This was a tricky sprint that definitely gave an unexpected result” said Ferrari. “My legs felt great and I am pleased placing second. Modolo, who had some cramps during the final climb, lost the position in the final sprint. After I was part of the lead group I gave my best to remain at the front of the bunch sprint. I’m very satisfied with my results and the great performance of the entire team in the climbs and descents. We are looking forward to tomorrow where we are aiming to have another top result.”

Caleb Ewan (Orica Scott): “To be honest I can’t exactly remember what happened,” Ewan said of the finale. “When I bumped into (Gaviria) my foot came out of the pedal and obviously at that point in the race it’s going to be pretty hard to get your foot back in and continue sprinting. I’m devastated to be honest but if I can take something out of the last couple of days it is my form.”

“It’s hard to tell after two days exactly how everyone is going but I think I can say I am up there with the top guys. It was a stage that could go either way,” Ewan said. “The GC (general classification) teams didn’t want to do anything because it’s too early in the Giro and they were pretty happy for Bora to control thing. Both days we have had a pretty solid head wind and also the roads here are quite dead so I think it’s a combination of those two things that is making the racing slow.”


Tejay van Garderen (BMC): “It was tough because it was such a long day. Lots of altitude meters and a really strong headwind. But, I’d say it wasn’t hard in terms of the speed but it was a drag, it kind of grinded on you. The downhills were the most dangerous part so we always wanted to be close to the front for the descents. The team did a good job in keeping position and staying safe. We’ll see what the wind is doing tomorrow, it seems to be pretty strong around here, but hopefully we can get through it with no big issues.”

Maximilian Sciandri, Sports Director BMC: “I think today was way tougher than anyone expected. I’d say twice what they expected this morning. Six hours on the second day, on an island with the headwind, 3500 meters of climbing and descending all day. You could see it on the riders’ faces. Guys were getting dropped on 4% gradients so everyone was really tired. I think our guys did pretty well, they stuck together in the key points. We made it through today. Tomorrow is a sprinters’ stage with 140km. I’m not a big fan of recovery on the islands and with the winds. On paper it is an easier day but nothing’s easy at the Giro d’Italia.”

Lukas Pöstelberger (Bora – Hansgrohe ) changes Rosa to Bianco at Giro d´Italia: “We decided to try again something on the last kilometers if possible. Rudi delivered me perfectely on the last k, put the pace was already too high to go again. Lotto-Soudal did a perfect leadout and I tried to go Greipels wheel then. But I didn’t have the legs or speed to challenge him in the end. It was a wonderful day in Pink here in the 100th edition of the Giro. Now I still have the White Jersey, for me that’s perfect and I think we can be satisfied.”


Steven Kruijswijk (Team LottoNL-Jumbo) survived the Giro d’Italia’s second stage. “What I did wrongly yesterday, I corrected today,” said Kruijswijk. He finished in the same time as the winner. I look back on today with a more enjoyable feeling than yesterday. We were much sharper today. We were at the front and did not waste time. Yesterday, I waited and thought maybe it was easier than it was. We sharpened our focus and sat all day in the front. The boys kept me out of trouble all day long. It was a long day with a lot of wind. That means you need to stay attentive and that’s been successful today.”

Enrico Battaglin (6th) Team LottoNL-Jumbo “The most important thing is that we carried Steven safely through the day,” Battaglin said. “In the final, I could ride for myself for the sprint. I was in a good position and it’s a nice bonus that I finished sixth. ”

Geraint Thomas (team Sky): “I stayed around 10-15 [wheels from the front] and just stayed in that position all the way to the line really. The sprinters’ trains were really organised today and it was basically just one, long line – super fast. We’re doing what we were aiming to do, so it’s another day down. Everyone’s riding really well and riding together and we’ll see how the legs are on Tuesday.”


TV Drama for  Ilnur Zakarin

Whilst the lead out for bunch kick was in full flow, at the back, the TV cameras zoomed in on  Ilnur Zakarin who had his whole team drop back for me. It was a flat tyre at a bad moment for Team Katusha Alpecin’s Zakarin on Saturday’s stage 2 in the 100th Giro d’Italia.  José Azevedo explains what happened: “On the downhill when everyone was riding super fast, gaps started opening up and the second group was one minute behind.

With more or less 7km to go Zakarin had a flat tyre when he was with the first group. He was on the flat part when he had the flat tire and received a new bike from Maxim Belkov. All of the team stopped for him and they did a team time trial to get him back into the race. The team started working together with 7km to go with a gap of 40 seconds. In 5km they closed this gap.

In the end he lost 20 seconds because of the splits created in the sprint lead outs, but it’s important to make note what the team did in those five kilometers, especially when you consider the work from the teams of the sprinters in the front group and the speed at which they were going. Without the solid work from the team, Zakarin could easily have lost over one minute. It’s a good indication of the strong condition of our guys,” said General Manager José Azevedo.

Stage 2
1. André GREIPEL Lotto Souda 6:05:18
2. Roberto FERRARI UAE Team Emirates
3. Jasper STUYVEN Trek – Segafredo
4. Fernando GAVIRIA Quick-Step Floors
5. Kristian SBARAGLI Dimension Data
6. Enrico BATTAGLIN Team LottoNL-Jumbo
7. Ryan GIBBONS Dimension Data
8. Geraint THOMAS Team Sky
9. Caleb EWAN ORICA-Scott
10. Rui COSTA UAE Team Emirates

13. Vincenzo NIBALI Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team
15. Lukas PÖSTLBERGER Bora – Hansgrohe
19. Adam YATES ORICA-Scott
20. Nairo QUINTANA Movistar Team
31. Tom DUMOULIN Team Sunweb
150. Hugh CARTHY Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team 2.58
187. Marcin BIALOBLOCKI CCC Sprandi Polkowice 10.53

1. André Greipel Lotto Soudal2011:18:39
2. Lukas Pöstlberger Bora – Hansgrohe 0:04
3. Caleb Ewan ORICA-Scott 0:08
4. Roberto Ferrari UAE Team Emirates
5. Jasper Stuyven Trek – Segafredo 0:10
6. Pavel Brutt Gazprom-RusVelo 0:12
7. Kristian Sbaragli Dimension Data 0:14
8. Ryan Gibbons Dimension Data
9. Fernando Gaviria Quick-Step Floors
10. Enrico Battaglin Team LottoNL-Jumbo

11. Geraint Thomas Team Sky
13. Vincenzo Nibali Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team
16. Nairo Quintana Movistar Team
17. Adam Yates ORICA-Scott
31. Mikel Landa Team Sky
154. CarthyHughCannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team @2.48



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