The curtain was drawn on stage two of the 100th Giro d’Italia with UAE Team Emirates’ Italian rider Roberto Ferrari crossing the finish line in second place.
It was an impressive display by the 34-year-old in the hilly stage from Olbia to Tortoli, as he finished behind Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal), who claimed the top position on the podium and leads the general classification.
Jasper Stuyven (Trek – Segafredo) ended his day just behind in third place.
Speaking afterwards, Ferrari said: “This was a tricky sprint that definitely gave an unexpected result. My legs felt great and I am pleased placing second. 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.”
1 – Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) – 221km in 6h05’18”, average speed 36.298km/h
2 – Roberto Ferrari (UAE Team Emirates) s.t.
3 – Jasper Stuyven (Trek – Segafredo) s.t.
1 – Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal)
2 – Lukas Postlberger (Bora – Hansgrohe) at 4″
3 – Caleb Ewan (Orica – Scott) at 8″
Stage three is a shorter 148km ride, best suited for sprinters.
It starts in Tortolì and finishes in Cagliari for the fourth time in the Giro’s history. The final 10km has a number of roundabouts which may impact the breakaway group but the home stretch of 800m with wide asphalt roads are likely to make for a good sprint finish.
UAE Team Emirates’ Sacha Modolo crossed the finish line at the first stage of the 100th Giro d’Italia amongst the top five alongside Caleb Ewan (ORICA – Scott), Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) and Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek – Segafredo).
Modolo was in great form, garnering a significant fifth place as Austrian Lukas Poestlberger (BORA – Hansgrohe) was victorious.
“I am pleased with the outcome of today’s stage,” says Modolo. “Today’s stage was a good opportunity to try and clinch the Pink Jersey. Mohoric supported me until Ferrari was able to launch me into a long sprint unfortunately it was a bit too late as Lukas Poestlberger (BORA – Hansgrohe) had closed the gap between him and the sprinters.
“I would like to congratulate Poestlberger for a fine performance. I am in good form and this is only the beginning. I am looking forward to the upcoming stages and would like to thank my team for all the support.”
Stage two is hillier than the opening day of the Giro; the riders start in Olbia with three long climbs and a flat finish of 1.8km on wide roads to Tortolì.
Whilst the riders from the Giro compete in stage three of the Giro from Tortolì-Cagliari on Sunday, 7 May another eight UAE Team Emirates riders will be racing in Switzerland at the Gran Premio Citta di Lugano.
This is a hilly course that starts and finishes in Lugano, with an average gradient of 4.4% peaking at 20.3% in sections.
Riders loop the 23.2km circuit eight times over the 184.9km course. Emirati cyclist Yousif Mirza commented on the change to racing in Europe over the UAE: “The Gran Premio di Lugano race will be my second race in Europe, and my goal in this race is to help my teammates take a win. European races are very different to those in the Middle East so I am trying to adapt myself to racing in Europe conditions.”
Joining Mirza in Lugano is a UAE Team Emirates line up of Anass Ait El Abdia, Matteo Bono, Simone Consonni, Filippo Ganna, Oliviero Troia, Vegard Stake Laengen and Federico Zurlo.
TOP FIVE RACE RESULTS FOR STAGE ONE
|1||Lukas Poestlberger (BORA – Hansgrohe)||05:13:35|
|2||Caleb Ewan (ORICA – Scott)||…..|
|3||Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal)||…..|
|4||Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek – Segafredo)||…..|
|5||Sacha Modolo, UAE Team Emirates||0:00:10|
GENERAL CLASSIFICATION AFTER STAGE ONE
|1||Lukas Poestlberger (BORA – Hansgrohe)||05:13:35|
|2||Caleb Ewan (ORICA – Scott)||00:00:04|
|3||Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal)||00:00:06|
|4||Pavel Brutt (Gazprom – Rusvelo)||00:00:09|
|5||Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek – Segafredo)||00:00:10|
|6||Sacha Modolo, UAE Team Emirates||00:00:10|
Ahead of the Giro d’Italia which gets underway on Thursday, we take a look at six riders expected to challenge for the pink jersey.
Who do you think will win?
Has the pedigree and is in fine form with victories at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana and Tirreno- Adriatico plus a runner-up at Vuelta Asturias.
Time trials are always seen as an Achilles heel for the Colombian but he’s been improving on that front and with so many climbs to suit his best attributes, there’s a very good reason why he’s the No1 favourite for a second pink jersey.
The Giro has become his race and last season’s victory – where he came back from 4:43 down in the last two mountain stages – is ample reason why he can never be counted out, especially with so much home support.
Emotionally, Michele Scarponi’s death will be in the background throughout but, at the same, victory would also be the perfect tribute to his friend.
Team Sky have placed their faith in the Welshman who has three top-20 finishes at the Tour de France super-domestique for Chris Froome, but hasn’t raced in the Giro since 2012.
Now is his time to show he be a genuine GC contender, although Spain’s Mikel Landa is ‘coleader’ indicating Sky have a contingency plan.
Victory at the Tour de Alps puts him in a good place.
Was within two stages of victory last year only to suffer a catastrophic crash and allow Nibali in.
There was an element of misfortune about it but that’s bike racing and the 29-year-old will want to put himself back in contention quickly.
Excelled in the time trials and up the climbs, so he has the all-round ability to match the challenges of the route. One issue, however, is his form with two retirements and a best of eighth over his last five races.
Is competing in his first Giro, which is slightly curious given his position as the man most likely to end France’s long wait for a Tour winner.
Climbing is his primary calling card so he should be in contention at some stage, while his time-trialling is something he’s successfully worked out.
He arguably has the weakest team of the main contenders in FDJ, however, and may have to target a podium place.
Failed to finish both the Giro and the Tour last year, meaning 2017 will be one of redemption for the Dutchman.
His third place at the Abu Dhabi Tour has been his best finish this season but he also managed sixth at the Tirreno- Adriatico.
The volume and severity of the climbs over the route perhaps makes him the best of the outsiders but he has the pace to claim stage wins and, who knows, maybe contend overall.