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Giro Stage 2: Grande Gorilla

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Greipel takes easy sprint win in Tortolì

Greipel wins in Tortolì
Luk Benies, Getty

Andre Greipel of Lotto-Soudal sealed his seventh Giro d’Italia stage with a powerful sprint into Tortolì in Sardinia today. Greipel came straight up the center of a thinned-out sprint and easily passed an early-launching Fernando Gaviria of Quick Step, left behind Caleb Ewan of Orica, and won by a bike length over Roberto Ferrari and Jasper Stuyven. The success and time bonuses puts Greipel into the maglia rosa for at least a day.

The early break consisted of Daniel Teklehaimanot (again), Simone Andreeta, Lukasz Owsian, Ilia Koshevoy and Evgeny Shalunov. Andreeta took the first categorized climb but Teklehaimanot padded his total from the previous day and won both TV sprints as well. On the Genna Silania the break began misbehaving, dropping Owsian and eventually Andreeta, with Teklehaimanot taking the final KOM and 14 points to put him in the maglia azzurra for the next couple days.

After the KOM sprint the peloton reeled in the break, but Davide Martinelli and Nathan Haas then got away briefly, and Giacomo Nizzolo got left behind, but mostly the peloton rolled smoothly to the sprint in Tortolì.

Teklehaimanot leads the breakaway
Tim de Waele

With a sprint coming, the GC teams moved up for the final 15km, in order to avoid a repeat of the previous day’s danger, where a few riders got caught in traffic and lost time. Katusha’s leader Ilnur Zakarin suffered some sort of mechanical problem inside 8km to go, fell back to the gruppetto, and called on his team to try to power him back to the main group. They saved what looked like a half-minute deficit, however, thanks to the reluctance of the main peloton to accelerate until the final 2km, by which time Zakarin was back.

The sprint was relatively orderly but marked in particular by Ewan, in perfect position, coming out of his pedal just as he tried to wind up his sprint. From there it was Greipel versus an awkward effort by Gaviria (who had bumped with Ewan), the German coming past a couple leadout guys, and holding off two sprinters not of his caliber. The win means Greipel has scored a stage victory in every grand tour he’s started for the last ten years, a streak of incredible consistency and a sign of remarkable fitness at age 34. The maglia rosa, though, is a first for the Gorilla. With another sprint on tap for tomorrow he has a chance to wear it into Sicily on Tuesday, if not after that.

Results:

  1. André Greipel, Lotto-Soudal
  2. Roberto Ferrari, UAE, s.t.
  3. Jasper Stuyven, Trek-Segafredo, s.t.
  4. Fernando Gaviria, Quick Step, s.t.
  5. Kristian Sbaragli, Dimension Data, s.t.

GC:

  1. Greipel
  2. Lukas Postlberger, Bora-Hansgrohe, at 0.04
  3. Caleb Ewan, Orica-Scott, at 0.08
  4. Ferrari, s.t.
  5. Stuyven, at 0.10

Young Rider

  1. Postlberger
  2. Ewan, at 0.04
  3. Stuyven, at 0.06

KOM

  1. Daniel Teklehaimanot, Dimension Data, 20 points
  2. Cesare Benedetti, 9

Points

  1. Greipel, 75 points
  2. Teklehaimanot, 72
  3. Postlberger, 51