Giro 2018 Stage 2: Viviani goes full gas while Dennis takes the pink

It was one of those stages – a one-star flat stage where everyone knows it’ll end in a bunch sprint. And it did. But what a bunch sprint. QuickStepper Elia Viviani went hell for leather after finding himself woefully out of position in the last few hundred metres to deny Jakub Mareczko (Wilier Triestina) the stage. Meanwhile, the intermediate sprint stage earlier in the race was the opportunity Rohan Dennis needed as his BMC teammates led him out to take 3 tiny seconds that put him in pink at the end of the day.

Rider of the Race

I’m not the biggest fan of a bunch sprint stage so I was all ready to give my Rider of the Race to Rohan Dennis for taking the maglia rosa by winning an intermediate sprint and becoming the 21st rider to have worn all three GT leader’s jerseys. I had it all written up in my head with about 40km to go but best laid plans of mice and cycling reviewers …

… the bunch sprint did happen, as anticipated, and the hottest sprinter of the season so far, Elia Viviani won it handily. So far, so predictable. But it was how he won it that made me think he deserved the VeloVoices Rider of the Race. Zdenek Stybar was the locomotive at the front of the QuickStep sprint train as they rounded the final corner, but Viviani wasn’t hooked up – where was he? At this point, I thought it was all over for the Italian sprinter but never say die – quick thinking, guts and an eye for opportunity meant he jumped on Mareczko’s wheel when the Pro-Conti rider started his sprint and went past so fast, Mareczko must have only seen a glowing blue light in his wake.

Tweet of the Day

Eritrean fans were out in force at today’s Giro stage and weren’t going to stay quiet as they waited for Natnael Berhane to finish the stage. Expect scenes like this for the whole of the Giro.

GC favourites roundup

There were no big crashes, no echelons (although we were all hoping!), no unlucky mechanicals. So not much has changed from yesterday’s roundup, except for the addition of one second on all the timings.

Simon Yates (Mitchelton Scott) +21secs

Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain Merida) +28secs

Carlos Betancur (Movistar) +29secs

Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) +34secs

Chris Froome (Sky) +38secs

Davide Formolo (BORA-hansgrohe) +41secs

Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton Scott) +47secs

Fabio Aru (UAE-Emirates) +51secs

Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) +57secs

Michael Woods (EF Drapac) +1:03

Louis Meintjes (Dimension Data)+1:09

Stage results

1 Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) 3:51:20

2 Jakub Mareczko (Willier Triestina-Selle Italia) same time

3 Sam Bennett (Bora-hansgrohe) s/t

4 Niccolo Bonifazio (Bahrain-Merida) s/t

5 Sacha Modolo (EF Drapac) s/t

GC Top 5

1 Rohan Dennis (BMC) 4:03:21

2 Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) +0:01

3 Victor Campenaerts (Lotto Fix All) +0:03

4 Jose Goncalves (Katusha-Alpecin) +0:13

5 Alex Dowsett (Katusha-Alpecin) +0:17

All the jerseys

Embed from Getty Images

Leader’s jersey: Rohan Dennis (BMC)

Points jersey: Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors)

KOM jersey: Enrico Barbin (Bardiani CSF)

Best young rider: Max Schachmann (Quick-Step Floors)

For full review of the stage, go to Cycling News  

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