Bunch Sprint Avoided on Giro d’Italia Stage 15. May 2017, Olbia (ITA) — Road Team
The 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia got underway with a slow, but nervous, opening stage which saw BMC Racing Team’s leaders, Tejay van Garderen and Rohan Dennis, cross the line safely.
Six riders went clear in the opening 10km, of the 206km stage, and quickly gained an advantage that reached seven minutes.
The peloton started the chase in the second half of the race and the gap was hovering around two minutes with 50km remaining.
It was not an easy opening day, with three categorized climbs on the menu, and the sprinters’ teams picked up their pace to eventually bring the race back together with just 3.5km to go.
BMC Racing Team spent much of the day at the front of the peloton to avoid any trouble and be positioned well in what would be a hectic finale.
Unfortunately, Silvan Dillier was caught in a crash in the narrow, winding roads of Olbia, inside the final 3km, but escaped without serious injuries and was able to finish the race.
The chaos of the crash upset the sprinters’ lead out trains and Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora-Hansrgohe) found himself with a small gap at the front of the race, and was eventually able to hang out to claim the first Maglia Rosa.
The sprinters battled for podium positions behind, and van Garderen and Dennis finished safely in the peloton.
Quotes from the Finish Line
Tejay van Garderen:
“I didn’t even see the crash at the end of the stage. The guys did a good job of keeping us safe. I had Joey Rosskopf and Manuel Quinziato designated to me to help keep me out of trouble. They did a fantastic job today and I think if it continues like this, it should be a fun three weeks.”
“I was a little bit stale at the start but that’s to be expected. I’ve been freshening up a bit and it was a little bit nervous to be honest. There was wind, a little bit of a head wind for most of it, and then at about 130km there was supposed to be cross winds and then there wasn’t, so everyone stayed nervous from there. It was basically just about staying out of trouble and sitting on Francisco Ventoso’s wheel which is what I tried to do. It’s good to get it out of the way. The first stage nerves are always a bit stressful. But I’ve been saying to a lot of people that I’m not super excited, I just want to get it started and keep the same mentality the whole way through.”
“It was a good stage. I keep saying that islands are dangerous. They’re windy, the roads are all over the place. Tejay van Garderen and Rohan Dennis were good. Silvan Dillier had a crash but he looks ok. But in general, everyone looked good and it is nice to get things started.”
Dr Giovanni Ruffini on Silvan Dillier:
“Silvan Dillier was involved in a crash in the closing kilometers but was fortunately able to finish the race. First inspection on the bus after the stage showed nothing serous, just some superficial abrasions. We will take a closer look at the hotel tonight but Silvan is lucky to escape with no serious injuries.”
Stage 1 Alghero > Olbia (206km)
Top 3: 1. Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora-Hansrgohe), 2. Caleb Ewan (ORICA-SCOTT), 3. Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal).
BMC Racing Team top 3: 29. Francisco Ventoso, 30. Rohan Dennis, 33. Joey Rosskopf