Lukas Pöstleberger (Bora – Hansgrohe) created a huge surprise on Stage 1 of the Giro 100 as he anticipated the bunch sprint to rush to the finishing line after he passed the flamme rouge of the last kilometre. He resisted the rest of the bunch and Caleb Ewan had to be content with the second place ahead of André Greipel. No Austrian rider had ever won a stage of the Giro d’Italia before Pöstleberger today.
First stage win and the first Maglia Rosa for Austria, the 33rd country on the list of Giro stage wins following the newcomers in the the past ten years: Argentina (2007 with Max Richeze), Belarus (2008 with Vassil Kiryienka), Costa Rica (2012 with Andrey Amador), Slovenia (2014 with Luka Mezgec) and Estonia (2016 with Rein Taaramäe).
Austria was the only country neighbouring Italy without a stage win at the Giro while France has 62, Switzerland 54 and Slovenia 3 (the enclaves of San Marino and the Vatican aren’t taken into consideration in these statistics). Second podium for Caleb Ewan at the Giro. He also finished second last year in Bibione (stage 12).
1 – Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora – Hansgrohe) – 206km in 5h15’35”, average speed 39.415km/h
2 – Caleb Ewan (Orica – Scott) s.t.
3 – André Greipel (Lotto Soudal) s.t.
1 – Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora – Hansgrohe)
2 – Caleb Ewan (Orica – Scott) at 4″
3 – André Greipel (Lotto Soudal) at 6″
Maglia Rosa (pink), general classification leader, sponsored by Enel – Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora – Hansgrohe)
Maglia Ciclamino (cyclamen), sprinter classification leader, sponsored by Segafredo – Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora – Hansgrohe)
Maglia Azzurra (blue), King of the Mountains classification leader, sponsored by Banca Mediolanum – Cesare Benedetti (Bora – Hansgrohe)
Maglia Bianca (white), young rider general classification leader, sponsored by Eurospin – Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora – Hansgrohe)
The Maglia Rosa said: “There was some wind all day. It made the stage hard. We had one guy [Cesare Benedetti] in the front group, so we saved energy for the finale. I heard Sam Bennett shouting on the radio ‘Pösti – go for it’ when I got a gap. We have all the Maglias [jerseys]. This is Bora’s best day ever at the Giro. It’s also the biggest result in my career. I need some time, some weeks maybe and some glasses of wine to realize what I’ve achieved. It wasn’t planned, but this is cycling, it’s kind of faith and desire. I’ve learned from Peter Sagan to have fun and always take the positive side of things, even if it’s snowing like at the Tour de Romandie last week. This is my first start in a Grand Tour but it’s also my first time in Sardinia and not the last time for sure. I’m already planning some holidays here one day that I’ll have some time in the summer. It’s beautiful.”
Stage 2 – Olbia-Tortolì 221km – total elevation 2,800m
This is a medium mountain stage, running almost entirely through inland Sardinia. First comes a rolling section across the district of Nuoro, with three long climbs: Bitti and Orune (non-categorised climb), Nuoro (a steeper, categorised climb) and Passo di Genna Silana (cat. climb). After Genna Silana is a long, fast-running descent (over 20km, quite bumpy at points) on wide, well-surfaced roads. The final 10km are flat.
After leaving the SS125 and entering the centre of Girasole, the route cuts across the industrial area of Tortolì, on wide roads alternating with series of roundabouts. The roadway narrows 2km before the finish, crosses the railway track and turns right straight away, into the home straight (1,800m long), on a 7.5m wide asphalt road.