Giro d’Italia 2019: Stage 2 – Ackermann’s sunshine on a rainy day

Stage 2 of the 2019 Giro d’Italia saw the peloton take to the road for a simple-ish day which ended in a much anticipated bunch sprint. Would it be Fernando Gaviria or Elia Viviani? Well, that was a script that Bora-hansgrohe’s Pascal Ackermann didn’t read, as he took his first Grand Tour win in a fiercely contested bunch sprint that saw him outpower Vivz and Caleb Ewan. There was only a minor shuffle at the bottom of the GC top 10 so Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) wears pink for another day.

On the Italian menu today, 205km from Bologna to Fucecchio, taking in some of Tuscany’s rustic charm. 

It was always going to be a day for the sprinters but, with two climbs towards the end, it also gave the mountains competition some shape. There were a couple of nasty looking crashes along the way but no high drama until the final frenetic sprint for the line.

 Rider of the Race

On a day of slim pickings, I’m giving it to Pascal Ackermann. It was a strong win for sure but he’s getting the nod for his pure joy after crossing the line. There was no posing or posturing from the German national champion, just sheer unbridled happiness. 

And so there should be! It’s the first time he’s ever contested a sprint at a Grand Tour and he beat GT “veterans” Elia Viviani (DQS) and Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) to the line.

Honourable mentions

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Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) got in the day’s break and bagged himself maximum KOM points to keep the maglia azzurra on his shoulders for a few more stages.

Marco Frapporti of Androni-AllTheLogos was also in the break and although he lost touch on both the final climbs, he managed to reattach on the descents. You can bet his determination will feature again many times over the next three weeks. 

Roglic keeps it classy

Full marks to Primoz Roglic for not going overboard on pink too early. 

Giro Bingo

For those playing along, the first break of the Giro contained a full house of Italian wildcard teams. We had the aforementioned Marco Frapporti of Androni, as well as Mirco Maestri of Bardiani and Damiano Cima of Nippo-Vini doing the honours and parading around two thousand sponsor logos between them. 

Interestingly, the one wildcard team not in the break, Israel Cycling Academy, had two riders in the top ten on the stage – Davide Cimolai (6th) and Kristian Sbaragli (9th).

Also in the day’s break, Trek had two riders in Giulio Ciccone and Will Clarke. Yes, they were there to protect Ciccone’s climber’s jersey but Bauke Mollema’s thoughts on such use of resources would be interesting to hear. There was a slight shuffle at the bottom of the top 10 for GC but otherwise everyone stayed in their place. 

Stage results – top 5

1 Pascal Ackermann (Bora-hansgrohe) 4:44:43

2 Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)  same time

3 Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) s/t

4 Fernando Gaviria (UAE-Emirates) s/t

5 Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) s/t

General Classification – top 10

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1 Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 4:57:42

2 Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) +0:19

3 Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) +0:23

4 Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) +0:28

5 Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) same time

6 Rafal Majka (Bora-hansgrohe) +0:33

7 Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos) +0:35

8 Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) +0:39

9 Damiano Caruso (Bahrain-Merida) +0:40

10 Pello Bilbao (Astana) +0:42

All the Jerseys 

Maglia rosa – Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma)

Maglia blanca – Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana)

Maglia azzurra – Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo)

Maglia Ciclamino – Pascal Ackermann (Bora-hansgrohe)

For full stage review and race results, go to cyclingnews



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