André Greipel has claimed a stage win and the pink jersey after outsprinting Roberto Ferrari and Jasper Stuyven at the end of a fast and furious Stage 2 of the Giro last night.
Up there as a favourite and looking a red-hot certainty to take the win, it was disaster for Aussie sprinter Caleb Ewan who finished 9th after losing contact with his left pedal in the closing stages of the sprint. Shattered by his misfortune, Ewan said he was devastated but also thrilled to be “up there with the top guys.”
A stage that featured more than 3,000m of climbing, it was not one that suited the sprinters. It seems they missed the memo on that one – the bunch catching a break of 5 riders with 30km to go, a thrilling high-speed descent of the final mountain then rocket-fast finale in the town of Tortoli.
With Ewan out Greipel took the win with ease. For the first time in his long career, ‘the Gorilla’ moved into the lead of a Grand Tour. He’ll be in the Maglia Rosa for the third and last day of the Giro100’s visit to Sardinia.
‘Childhood Dream’ For ‘The Gorilla’
“It was a childhood dream to wear a jersey like this,” Greipel said after the finish.
“I tried to get it last year and it didn’t work out. I tried yesterday again and it didn’t work out again, but today it went well, but at the beginning of the day, I didn’t believe it would be a bunch sprint finish. I expected more attacks, especially in the last climb.
Andre Greipel At The Giro
- Stage 2 of the 2017 race was the German sprinter’s eleventh stage win at the Giro d’Italia – this makes Greipel the most successful of this year’s participants, leaving Vincenzo Nibali behind with six stage victories
- It’s Greipel’s first Maglia Rosa ever but the 23rd for German riders. The last of them to lead the Giro d’Italia was Marcel Kittel last year. Herman Buse was the first of them, exactly 85 years ago after he won stage 2 from Vicenza to Udine on 15 May 1932 – but it was a very different way of winning as he soloed to cross the finishing line 11 minutes before his competitors
- It’s the 34th stage victory for Germany in 100 editions of the Giro d’Italia. Exactly half of them have happened in the past ten years. Last year, German riders won a total of seven stages out of 21
Top 3, Stage 2
1 – André Greipel (Lotto Soudal) – 221km in 6h05’18”, average speed 36.298km/h
2 – Roberto Ferrari (UAE Team Emirates) s.t.
3 – Jasper Stuyven (Trek – Segafredo) s.t.
Overall Top 3
1 – André Greipel (Lotto Soudal)
2 – Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora – Hansgrohe) at 4″
3 – Caleb Ewan (Orica – Scott) at 8″