The second day’s racing on the Italian mainland was quite frankly a bit of a snooze fest until the final chicane, 600m from the line. Caleb Ewan finally nailed his first Giro stage win in a nail-biting photo finish. The young Aussie swung around third-placed Sam Bennett to cross the line half a wheel ahead of runner-up Fernando Gaviria, closing fast on his left. There was no change among the GC contenders, leaving Bob Jungels sitting pretty in pink for yet another day.
Rider of the Race
There might have been a spot of shoulder jostling in the bunch on the final run in but there were few in consideration for our prestigious award which goes to the stage winner, Caleb Ewan. Both he and Orica-Scott were delighted to take a stage victory after being runners-up on the opening stage and only grabbing places in the top ten on the next two. This was the 22 year old Aussie’s first Giro victory and second grand tour win after one in the 2015 Vuelta a Espana.
Speaking seconds after the stage finish, Ewan confirmed:
It feels so good after the first few disappointments I’ve had. I don’t think I’ve felt so good before. It was a bit crazy at the end. We got caught too far back at about three kilometres to go. But we found each other. We didn’t panic. The boys did a perfect job.
Indeed they did!
Just a frisson of glamour and excitement
It had to happen didn’t it? It’s unreasonable to expect the riders to maintain a level of heightened excitement throughout the whole 21 stages. No need for smelling salts or tranquillisers today, just several espressos in order to stay awake.
Hollywood actor Patrick Dempsey did add a little glitz and glamour to proceedings.Embed from Getty Images
A keen amateur cyclist and habitue of the Amgen Tour of California, he graced the Giro in his capacity as brand ambassador for race time keeper Tag Heuer. Sporting a vintage pink wool jersey, the Grey’s Anatomy star rode the 5km neutralised zone with the Tag Heuer sponsored BMC team, before heading to the finish – probably in the medical car – where we saw him chatting to Trek-Segafredo’s Ivan Basso.
1 Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) 5:35:18
2 Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) same time
3 Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) s/t
4 Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) s/t
5 Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) s/t
GC Top 5
1 Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors) 33:56:07
2 Geraint Thomas (Sky) +0:06
3 Adam Yates (Orica-Scott) +0:10
4 Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida) same time
5 Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R La Mondiale) s/t
All the jerseys
Leader’s jersey: Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors)
Points jersey: Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors)
KOM jersey: Jan Polanc (UAE-Emirates)
Best young rider: Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors)
For full review of the stage, go to Cycling News
Header Image: Giro d’Italia