So it’s officially under way, the 2014 Giro d’Italia kicked off on Friday, and saw the riders hit Ireland to get the first three stages over with. It was an exciting opener as expected, and we saw a few crashes and unexpected wins, what more could you ask for? First was the team time trial.
Stage 1 – Belfast Team Time Trial ( 21.7km )
The Time Time Trial – or TTT as it’s affectionately and efficiently abbreviated – was typically Irish: damp and sporadically rainy. Not having the luck of the Irish however, was home grown rider Dan Martin, who hit a manhole in the stage and came crashing down, resulting in a broken collarbone and his resignation from the tour. Acting as a display of how cruel the sport can be, this bit of hard luck for the Irishman reminded everyone of the seriousness of the task in hand.
But it was Svein Tuft who took the win for Orica Greenedge, securing the maglia rosa on his 37th birthday. A great start to the tour, Tuft’s well deserved win was congratulated by all:
Stage 2: Belfast – Belfast (218km)
The second, longer Belfast stage saw Michael Matthews take the General Classification lead from team mate Tuft, and Marcel Kittel stormed past the finish line with an impressive time of 5:13:12.
Giro d’Italia stage two results
1. Marcel Kittel (Germany – Giant) 5:13:12″
2. Nacer Bouhanni (France – FDJ.fr) “” “” “”
3. Giacomo Nizzolo (Italy – Trek)
4. Elia Viviani (Italy – Cannondale)
5. Roberto Ferrari (Italy – Lampre)
6. Manuel Belletti (Italy – Androni Giocattoli)
7. Ben Swift (Britain – Team Sky)
8. Michael Matthews (Australia – Orica)
9. Davide Appollonio (Italy – AG2R)
10. Tyler Farrar (U.S. – Garmin)
Stage 3: Armagh – Dublin (187km)
Just two stages in and still relatively fresh, there was a lot of energy in the air ahead of yesterday’s stage and plenty of opportunists, such as Dutchman Maarten Tjallingii of Belkin Pro Cycling Team, who commented after stage 2:
“There are not many chances to be in breakaways in this Giro, so I wanted to try today,” Tjallingii said. “I felt I was in control of the group, and when I won the first points sprint, I wanted to go for the second one. I got the jersey, and I am satisfied because I think I got the most out of the day’s effort.
“Tomorrow there will be another chance for a breakaway, so maybe I can get in the group and defend the jersey.”
After another wet, drizzly stage with plenty of rain-jackets coming out along the way, Marcel Kittel took a second consecutive stage victory, displaying his prowess and dominance on the short flats. It was the second ‘Birthday Win’ of the tour so far, as Kittel turned 26 yesterday!
The General Classification standings after stage 3 are as follows:
1. Michael Matthews (Australia – Orica Greenedge)
2. Alessandro Petacchi (Italy – Omega Pharma – Quick-Step)
3. Daniel Oss (Italy – BMC Racing Team)
4. Luke Durbridge (Australia – Orica Greenedge)
5. Ivan Santaromita (Italy – Orica Greenedge)
6. Svein Tuft (Canada – Orica Greenedge)
7. Pieter Weening (Netherlands -Orica Greenedge)
8. Cameron Meyer (Australia – Orica Greenedge)
9. Rigoberto Uran Uran (Colombia – Omega Pharma – Quick-Step)
10. Gianluca Brambilla (Italy – Omega Pharma – Quick-Step)
Enjoy this quick update? Keep up to date with the Giro d’Italia here at ProBikeKit with more in-depth race reviews, previews and analysis to come.