Long Day of Climbing on Giro d’Italia Stage 26. May 2017, Tortoli (ITA) — Road Team
After testing the legs on stage 1 of the Giro d’Italia, the peloton faced a long and tough day of climbing on stage 2 which ultimately came down to a bunch sprint in Tortoli after more than six hours of racing.
Five riders went clear early in the 221km stage and the peloton well and truly sat up to allow the breakaway’s advantage to reach a maximum of 6’30”.
The gap started to fall by the time the peloton approached the base of the first climb of the day and at the summit, the breakaway was three minutes ahead.
BMC Racing Team was well-represented at the front of the peloton for most of the stage to keep leaders, Tejay van Garderen and Rohan Dennis, out of trouble in the various wind conditions.
The second climb of the day, Genna Salina, which was just shy of 20km in length, allowed the peloton to pull back time on the breakaway and as they reached the summit, the race was back together.
An attack was immediately launched from Nathan Haas (Dimension Data) and Davide Martinelli (Quickstep-Floors), and the duo sat in front for a short time before being pulled back.
The peloton started their descent towards the finish line and unexpectedly, the majority of sprinters were still in the bunch to sprint for the win.
A split in the peloton was closed in the final kilometers and eventually the stage came down to a bunch sprint won by Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal), who inherited the Maglia Rosa.
Van Garderen and Dennis crossed the line safely in the bunch with the help of strong teamwork throughout the stage.
Quotes from the Finish Line
Tejay van Garderen:
“It was tough because it was such a long day. Lots of altitude meters and a really strong headwind. But, I’d say it wasn’t hard in terms of the speed but it was a drag, it kind of grinded on you. The downhills were the most dangerous part so we always wanted to be close to the front for the descents. The team did a good job in keeping position and staying safe. We’ll see what the wind is doing tomorrow, it seems to be pretty strong around here, but hopefully we can get through it with no big issues.”
Maximilian Sciandri, Sports Director:
“I think today was way tougher than anyone expected. I’d say twice what they expected this morning. Six hours on the second day, on an island with the headwind, 3500 meters of climbing and descending all day. You could see it on the riders’ faces. Guys were getting dropped on 4% gradients so everyone was really tired. I think our guys did pretty well, they stuck together in the key points. We made it through today. Tomorrow is a sprinters’ stage with 140km. I’m not a big fan of recovery on the islands and with the winds. On paper it is an easier day but nothing’s easy at the Giro d’Italia.”
Stage 2 Olbia > Tortoli (221km)
Top 3: 1. Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal), 2. Roberto Ferrari (UAE Team Emirates), 3. Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo).
BMC Racing Team top 3: 29. Joey Rosskopf, 36. Tejay van Garderen, 49. Manuel Quinziato
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.