It was Stage 2 of the Giro d’Italia and it was supposed to be a day where someone from the break won. But we should know by now that Giro stages have a way of confounding the collective wisdom of the pundits. In an inordinately slooooooow stage, it came down to a Lotto Soudal leadout for their man Andre Greipel to power his way into pink from a bunch sprint. Roberto Ferrari (UAE Team Emirates) – yes, you heard that right – came in second, followed by Trek-Segafredo’s Jasper Stuyven. It was jerseys-go-round at the end of the day.
Rider of the Race
There’s no other way to say this. For just over six hours in the saddle, you’d think there’d be a fair amount of action – after all, this is the Giro! There wasn’t. The one bright spot before the sprint finish was Daniel Teklahaimanot, who took to the break in order to fight for the mountains jersey as well as taking as many intermediate sprint points as he could. I’ve been a TeklaFan since he wore the polka dot jersey in the 2015 Tour de France and, in my book, he’s one of the most elegant riders in the peloton. His style on the bike reminds me of Ivan Basso – cool and super fluid as he goes about his work – and his Eritrean national champion’s jersey just adds to it. Add to that the fact that any day a rider from Team Dimension Data meets his race goal is a day worth celebrating means Daniel Teklahaimanot is my Rider of the Race.
Riding in a five-man break for the majority of the stage, Tekla was busy throughout: he picked up maximum points in the first intermediate sprint, then third in the mountain points on the first categorised climb and took maximum points again in the second intermediate sprint. It was then the points for the second categorised climb – one that saw him fighting off breakmates Evgeny Shalunov (Gazprom) and Ilia Koshevoy (Willier) and a peloton that was coming fast and furious. He took off like a rocket to take maximum points at the top and his first Giro mountains jersey. He also leads in the non-jersey sprints and combativity classifications.
Isn’t he pretty in pink?
Another one of my favourites went on to win today’s stage. Andre Greipel, who really comes across as one of the nicest, fairest, hardest working and classiest guys in the peloton, wasn’t going to be denied his chance to sport the pink after yesterday’s disappointment. It’s the first time he’s worn the leader’s jersey in a Grand Tour but he’s won a stage in the last 12 GTs he has participated in. Which – wow – is quite an achievement. Would love to see him hold Wolfie aloft a few more times before the mountains …
1 Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) 6:05:18
2 Roberto Ferrari (UAE Team Emirates) same time
3 Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) s/t
4 Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) s/t
5 Kristian Sbaragli (Dimension Data) s/t
GC Top 5
1 Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) 11:18:39
2 Lukas Postlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe) +0:04
3 Caleb Ewan (Orica Scott) +0:08
4 Roberto Ferrari (UAE Team Emirates) same time
5 Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) 0:10
All the jerseys
Leader’s jersey: Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal)
Points jersey: Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal)
KOM jersey: Daniel Teklahaimanot (Team Dimension-Data)
Best young rider: Lukas Postlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe)
For full review of the stage, go to Cycling News
Header Image: Andre Greipel ©GETTY/Corbis Sport/Tim de Waele