Sardinia provided a spectacular setting for the Giro’s opening three stages. The stunning coastal city of Alghero hosted the pre-race festivities and the start of stage one.
One of my favorite activities at the Giro every year is checking out the Giro-themed shop-window displays in the start and finish towns. This toy store display of pink stuffed animals on pink bikes was my favorite in Olbia, the finish town for the opening stage.
On his first ever day in a grand tour, young Austrian Lukas Postlberger stole a march on the star sprinters to take the stage win and the maglia rosa.
At the press conference, Postlberger proved to be an engaging and funny guy. At one point, answering a journalist’s question about his background, he said, “I’m trained as a carpenter, so if you need a kitchen...”
Another day, another beautiful beach, this one at Tortoli/Arbatax, where Andre Greipel won stage two and took the maglia rosa.
On the road into Cagliari for the finish of stage three, we stopped to check out some appropriately-colored flamingos.
It was a two-tiered sprint in Cagliari after Quick-Step demonstrated their echelon prowess by splitting the field in the crosswinds, with Fernando Gaviria dominating a small-group sprint 13 seconds ahead of the charging peloton.
After pulling on the front of the lead echelon for much of the last ten kilometers, and gaining himself a ten-second advantage over his GC rivals, Bob Jungels looked pretty spent.
A few shots from the finish area:
Back at the parking area, the riders left their team buses to get on chartered buses to the airport for an evening flight to Sicily.
Thibaut Pinot, stylin in red Oakleys, brought a snack to eat on the bus, while the Sunweb riders appeared to be carrying a full dinner in foil pans. Yep, always best to avoid airline food!