Lukas Postlberger pulled off the surprise of the year and pulled on the first maglia rosa of this historic centennial Giro. The Austrian got a gap after a crash with three kilometres to go, and as the chase behind foundered in a chaos of corners he kept going to foil the sprint teams rose-tinted dreams. Caleb Ewan won the bunch sprint for second with Andre Greipel rounding out the podium.
Rider of the Race
Come on! Who else can it be but Lukas Postlberger? Running lead out for team sprinter Sam Bennett he came out of a hairy right-hander with a gap. I kept expecting him to be caught, but he just kept right on pedalling. Under the flamme rouge and he was still out front. By this time EVERYONE was yelling vai vai vai, including his teammates and the DS in the team car. With 100 metres to go it was signed, sealed and delivered and all he had to do was plan his victory celebration for his first ever professional win in his first ever Grand Tour.
We wanted to try for a sprint for the final for Sam. Through the city the lead-out trains, I don’t know, they lost my wheel or something and I had a gap. I heard over the radio, ‘C’mon, Posty, go try!’ and I put all I had in. It worked out – victory for the team, first professional victory for me, maglia rosa. I think I will need many weeks to take this victory in. It’s unbelievable, really.
Unbelievable it may be, but isn’t that why we ADORE the Giro?
Bora in blue too
Cesare Benedetti absolutely bossed the break of the day to ensure a clean sweep of jerseys to Bora. He was cheeky, smart, determined and thoroughly deserved his trip to the King of the Mountains podium for the maglia azzura.
Let’s DO THIS…
1 Lukas Postlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe) 5:13:35
2 Caleb Ewan (ORICA-Scott) same time
3 Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) s/t
4 Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) s/t
5 Sacha Modolo (UAE-Emirates) s/t
GC top 5
1 Lukas Postleberger (Bora-Hansgrohe) 5:13:25
2 Caleb Ewan (ORICA-Scott) +0.04secs
3 Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) +0.06secs
4 Pavel Brutt (Gazprom-Rusvelo) +0.08secs
5 Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) +10secs
All the jerseys
Leader’s jersey: Lukas Postlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe)
Point’s jersey: Lukas Postlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe)
KOM jersey: Cesere Benedetti (Bora-Hansgrohe)
Best young rider: Lukas Postlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe)
For full review of the stage, go to Cycling News
Header Image: Lukas Postlberger © LUK BENIES/AFP/Getty Images