Giro d'Italia 2017

May 5-28, Alghero, Italy, Road - WorldTour

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Barry Ryan

Live coverage of stage 1 of the 2017 Giro d’Italia, 206 kilometres from Alghero to Olbia.

 

Giro d’Italia hub page
Giro d’Italia 2017 startlist
Stage 1 Preview
Bardiani-CSF doping positives 'not the team's fault', says Reverberi
Pirazzi and Ruffoni test positive in out-of-competition controls
Quintana cautious about Giro-Tour double
Giro d'Italia 100 team presentation - Gallery

 

Profile of stage 1 of the 2017 Giro d'Italia.

Map of stage 1 of the 2017 Giro d'Italia.

 

  1. 11:33:04 CEST

    Welcome to our live coverage of the 2017 Giro d'Italia. The gruppo has gathered in Alghero for the start of stage 1, with the riders due to be flagged away at 12.10 local time. They navigate an 8.4km neutralised zone before hitting kilometre zero at around 12.25. 206 kilometres - and the short, sharp climb of San Pantaleo - then separate them from the first maglia rosa of the race in Olbia.

  2. 11:38:32 CEST

    There is, as one might anticipate, quite a lot of media interest outside the Bardiani-CSF bus before the start, where manager Bruno Reverberi has been trying to explain how two of his riders - Stefano Pirazzi and Nicola Ruffoni - tested positive for growth hormone releasing peptides in out-of-competition controls in late April

     

  3. 11:41:18 CEST

    Reverberi already spoke last night to La Gazzetta dello Sport, despite the hotel proprietor locking the doors, switching off the lights and claiming that no cycling team was staying in his establishment. The Bardiani-CSF bus, truck and cars parked outside were a mild giveaway, mind, and the resourceful Claudio Ghisalberti eventually gained access. “I’m in bits, I feel like crying. I can only think of the sponsors who have never pressured us to get results, of the team staff and the other riders. I want to quit. Cycling is my passion, I’m 75 years old and this is my 36th Giro d’Italia," Reverberi said. "What difference does an extra win or not make to me?”

     

     

  4. 11:52:53 CEST

    While Bruno Reverberi channels Captain Renault, it's worth recalling that he has been here before, most notably in 2008, when Emanuele Sella returned an out-of-competition positive test for CERA weeks after winning three mountain stages at that year's Giro. In 2015, meanwhile, Bardiani-CSF left the Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC) after failing to withdraw a rider who returned low cortisol levels in testing ahead of the Giro. The team now faces potential exclusion from this Giro if article 7.12.1 of the UCI Anti-Doping Rules is applied promptly and the team is given a suspension of 15-45 days. As Stephen Farrand points out, "the UCI Disciplinary Commission can call an emergency meeting and so quickly suspend Bardiani-CSF, even before the riders’ B samples are tested and the positives confirmed," but for now at least, the team remains in the race.

     

  5. 11:56:59 CEST

    In the middle of it all, a bike race might break out. Alasdair Fotheringham has a preview of today's action here. Although the race hugs the coast at various points, wind conditions are relatively calm, and it may be that the day's third and final categorised climb, the San Pantaleo, proves the only impediment to a bunch sprint. 3.3 kilometres in length with a maximum gradient of 12%, the summit comes with 21 kilometres still to go, giving the sprinters' teams ample time to organise themselves for the finish.

     

  6. 12:08:58 CEST

    UEC president David Lappartient has been at the start in Alghero this morning. The Frenchman is, of course, mulling over a bid for the UCI presidency this September. What would Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn give for a photo opportunity like this one?

     

  7. 12:11:51 CEST

    The Giro peloton has been flagged away from Alghero's Banchina Ammiraglio Millelire, and is soft-pedalling its way towards kilometre zero.

     

  8. 12:20:22 CEST

    Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step) is a decent bet for the first maglia rosa of this Giro, but when he spoke to the press on Thursday, he emphasised his desire to make it all the way to the finish in Milan. "I'm pretty nervous, it's a new race, and that's a challenge for me," Gaviria said.

     

     

  9. 12:23:54 CEST

    There was a minute of silence in memory of the late Michele Scarponi at the start in Alghero. The eight Astana riders in the race stood at the head of the peloton as the Giro paid tribute to Scarponi. The Astana team then led the gruppo on its way out of Alghero.

    Michele Scarponi in action at the Tour of the Alps

     

     

  10. 206km remaining from 206km

    12:30:53 CEST

    The flag has dropped and the 100th edition of the Giro d'Italia is officially underway. 

     

  11. 12:39:46 CEST

    There are three fourth category climbs on the menu today. The Multeddu comes after 68 kilometres, followed by the Trinità d’Agultu after 90 kilometres and the San Pantaleo after 185 kilometres.

     

  12. 12:42:34 CEST

    The pace is unsurprisingly brisk in the opening kilometres, but amid the flurry of early attacks a break has yet to establish itself.

     

  13. 199km remaining from 206km

    12:45:59 CEST

    A small group has now eked out a decent advantage over the peloton and this could very well be our early break.

     

  14. 12:48:03 CEST

    Mirco Maestri (Bardiani-CSF), Cesare Benedetti (Bora-Hansgrohe), Marcin Bialoblocki (CCC Sprandi Polkowice), Pavel Brutt (Gazprom-Rusvelo), Daniel Teklehaimanot (Dimension Data) and Eugert Zhupa (Wilier Selle Italia) already have a lead of 1:20 over the peloton.

     

  15. 195km remaining from 206km

    12:52:55 CEST

    The peloton is more than happy to give this sextet their freedom early on. Their lead has quickly yawned out to four minutes.

     

  16. 190km remaining from 206km

    12:59:38 CEST

    All four of the wildcard teams - including, of course, the Bardiani-CSF of Pirazzi and Ruffoni - are represented in this early break, which has now extended its buffer to six minutes over a peloton that is more than content to amble through these opening kilometres.

     

  17. 13:06:31 CEST

    Considering the hardships to come in this Giro, the overall contenders will not be at all unhappy with this sedate beginning to proceedings in Sardinia. There won't be a whole lot of respite from here to Milan...

     

  18. 13:09:54 CEST

    One of their number, Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), has acknowledges that Nairo Quintana (Movistar) as the outstanding favourite, but notes a degree of parity elsewhere. "Everyone says Quintana is the favourite," Pinot said. "Behind him, we’re about ten riders pretty much at the same level." The Frenchman is making his Giro debut, but he has plenty of experience on Italian roads, dating back to his overall victory in the Giro della Valle d'Aosta as an amateur in 2009.

    Thibaut Pinot is focused on the GC at the Giro

     

  19. 183km remaining from 206km

    13:11:53 CEST

    The break's lead hits 6:40 as they pedal towards Sassari. Sooner or later, the sprinters' teams - chiefly Quick-Step, Orica-Scott and Lotto Soudal - will start to bring this margin under control.

     

  20. 178km remaining from 206km

    13:18:41 CEST

    Still no reaction from the peloton, as Brutt et al nudge their advantage out to 7:20.

     

  21. 174km remaining from 206km

    13:25:41 CEST

    Orica-Scott, Lotto Soudal and Quick-Step have all contributed a man to the front of the peloton, and their combined efforts have clipped the break's lead down to 6:50 as they reach Sassari.

     

  22. 170km remaining from 206km

    13:30:01 CEST

    Although the day's stage is ostensibly a flat one, a sizeable portion of the flats in this part of the world are rather false. Maestri, Brutt, Zhupa, Teklehaimanot, Bialoblocki and Benedetti negotiate a short, shallow rise as they leave Sassari.

     

  23. 166km remaining from 206km

    13:37:40 CEST

    The break's lead seems to have stabilised at around the seven-minute mark. For now, the collaboration among the six leaders is smooth, the weather conditions are clement,and the crowds on the side of the road are sizeable.

     

  24. 13:42:48 CEST

    Vincenzo Nibali is tucked safely in the main peloton alongside Nairo Quintana. Each man is surrounded by a phalanx of his teammates. They will be happy to come away from Sardinia with no alarms and no surprises ahead of stage 4's summit finish at Mount Etna.

    Vincenzo Nibali rolls on the platform for the team presentation

     

  25. 158km remaining from 206km

    13:43:47 CEST

    Quick-Step and Orica-Scott's pace-making at the head of the bunch has trimmed the break's lead back by a minute or so, and the gap now stands at 6:07.

     

  26. 156km remaining from 206km

    13:53:17 CEST

    The loose alliance between the sprinters' teams continues to make inroads into the escapees' buffer. 5:30 the gap.

     

  27. 13:55:29 CEST

    One sprint team under no obligation to chase is Sam Bennett's Bora-Hansgrohe. The Irishman is represented up front by Cesare Benedetti, and his team can sit in the wheels. Winner of a stage of Paris-Nice this season, Bennett had no luck whatsoever in his two Tour de France appearances to date, but he certainly has the raw speed to claim a win on this Giro.

     

  28. 149km remaining from 206km

    14:02:08 CEST

    Orica-Scott, Quick-Step and Lotto-Soudal continue to tap through on the head of the peloton, and the break's buffer continues to be trimmed. It now stands at 5:05.

     

  29. 14:05:13 CEST

    Astana have paid further tribute to the late Michele Scarponi by releasing a 30-minute video of a previously unpublished interview, in which the Italian discussed his personality, his career and his jokes with the parrot Frankje. "I have a special relationship with the tifosi – I'm a tifoso of the tifosi if you like," Scarponi said. You can watch the video in full here.

     

  30. 142km remaining from 206km

    14:14:31 CEST

    The escapees begin the first climb of the day, the Multeddu, with a lead of 4:34 over the bunch.

     

  31. 141km remaining from 206km

    14:15:42 CEST

    Benedetti accelerates fiercely in search of the king of the mountains points, but he still has three kilometres of climbing ahead of him. Teklehaimanot is wise to the move, however, and pegs him back, bringing the remainder of the break with him.

     

  32. 14:16:55 CEST

    There's a brief lull and then Benedetti kicks again. The Italian is eager to wear the king of the mountains jersey this afternoon, and he has opened a decent gap.

     

  33. 14:17:46 CEST

    The Albanian champion Zhupa bridges across to Benedetti and remains locked to his wheel as they enter the final kilometre of the climb.

     

  34. 138km remaining from 206km

    14:19:53 CEST

    • Climb

    Zhupa opens the sprint but Benedetti fends him off with ease to claim maximum points atop the Multeddu. They sit up and wait for the rest of the break as they begin the descent.

     

  35. 14:23:31 CEST

    The bunch crests the summit of the Multeddu 4:40 down on our six escapees.

     

  36. 130km remaining from 206km

    14:33:41 CEST

    The break are a little under ten miles from the day's second categorised climb, the Trinità d'Agultu.

     

  37. 126km remaining from 206km

    14:36:08 CEST

    The average speed after two hours of racing is just over 39kph. The break's advantage stands at 4:10, with Quick-Step setting the tempo at the head of the bunch.

     

  38. 14:40:36 CEST

    Nothing brings out cliches and truisms quite like a doping case. The contention that "this proves the testing is working" is very debatable, while the affirmation of one commentator, that Pro Continental teams are not part of the biological passport and thus somehow more likely to dope than their WorldTour counterparts, is simply wrong. All riders registered with Pro Continental teams are part of the biological passport programme. 

     

  39. 121km remaining from 206km

    14:47:15 CEST

    The escapees tackle the lower slopes of the Trinità d'Agultu, the day's econd climb. Their lead has slipped under four minutes for the first time, but there is still no particular urgency in the gruppo.

     

  40. 120km remaining from 206km

    14:50:33 CEST

    Daniel Teklehaimanot attacks from the break and opens a small gap on the climb. There are few more stylish climbers than the Eritrean, who often gives the impression of gliding up the slopes. Brutt, Benedetti and Zhupa give chase.

     

  41. 118km remaining from 206km

    14:52:44 CEST

    Teklehaimanot has 3:25 on the peloton and about 15 seconds of an advantage over Brutt, Benedetti and Zhupa. Maestri and Bialoblocki are further down the climb and they risk being irretrievably distanced.

     

  42. 118km remaining from 206km

    14:57:03 CEST

    • Climb

    Benedetti makes a late surge and shoots past Teklehaimanot over the top of the Trinità d'Agultu. Benedetti will claim the blue jersey this afternoon after leading to the top of the first two climbs. It looked as though Zhupa also came around Teklehaimanot at the last to take second place. The leaders have four minutes in hand on the bunch.

     

  43. 14:58:17 CEST

    Maestri and Bialoblocki were distanced on the climb, but they are chasing desperately down the other side of the Trinità d'Agultu to try to catch the four leaders.

     

  44. 15:01:26 CEST

    Stephen Farrand and Alasdair Fotheringham, our men in Sardinia, caught up with Giro director Mauro Vegni and Bardiani-CSF directeur sportif Stefano Zanatta at the start in Alghero this morning. "In theory I could have sent the team home. But I’ve decided to wait for the B-test results, because if the B-sample came out negative, I’d be the one facing legal action from them," Vegni said of Bardiani-CSF, before passing the parcel to the UCI. "The UCI are the judges of all of this, they’re responsible for handling the case. It’s up to them to say something." The full story is here.

     

  45. 111km remaining from 206km

    15:02:57 CEST

    And then there were five. Bialoblocki has caught up to Benedetti, Zhupa, Teklehaimanot and Brutt. Maestri is still somewhere between the break and the bunch.

     

  46. 108km remaining from 206km

    15:07:31 CEST

    Two and a half hours into the stage, and the average speed is a little shy of 39kph. There have been no major frissons in the peloton, where Quick-Step, Orica-Scott and Lotto Soudal are content to continue their informal alliance to keep the break's lead under control.

     

  47. 107km remaining from 206km

    15:10:58 CEST

    Mirco Maestri has been definitively distanced by the break, and the Bardiani-CSF man is in the no man's land ahead of the peloton, two minutes down on the leaders.

     

  48. 103km remaining from 206km

    15:15:39 CEST

    The peloton is just a touch inland from the Isola Rossa and Sardinia's northern coast. The escapees are approaching the midway point on the stage with a lead of 3:24 in hand on the bunch. Maestri, meanwhile, has just been swallowed up by the gruppo.

     

  49. 100km remaining from 206km

    15:21:59 CEST

    Into the final 100 kilometres for the five leaders, whose advantage stands at 3:14. Lotto Soudal are massed towards the front of the peloton, as are Orica-Scott. Andre Greipel and Caleb Ewan are both tucked in safely towards the head of the bunch.

     

  50. 96km remaining from 206km

    15:28:20 CEST

    There has been a slight increase in the urgency of the main peloton but they have ample shelter from the crosswinds for the time being as they approach the feed zone.

     

  51. 91km remaining from 206km

    15:35:25 CEST

    The escapees reach the feed zone with a lead of 2:30 over the peloton. 

     

  52. 15:38:43 CEST

    The wind is reportedly whipping up at the finish in Olbia. With so many changes of direction in the finale, it's hard to say exactly what its impact will be, but it is sure to be a breathless finale. Right now, of course, that same breeze is a block headwind, but there is an important change in direction around the intermediate sprint at Santa Teresa di Gallura with 70km remaining.

     

  53. 87km remaining from 206km

    15:42:19 CEST

    There has been a marked truce since the peloton came through the feed zone, and the break's lead has extended once again to 3:30.

     

  54. 80km remaining from 206km

    15:55:14 CEST

    The break approaches Rena Majore with a lead of three minutes over the peloton. They are still fighting against a headwind, but they will begin to swing south towards Olbia and the wind will start to have a rather different kind of effect. 

  55. 15:56:47 CEST

    There's a sense that this is the calm before the storm. Davide Formolo (Cannondale-Drapac) shares a joke with the television motorbike and squirts some water in its direction, but the intensity will ratchet steadily upwards in the final two hours of racing.

     

  56. 77km remaining from 206km

    15:59:50 CEST

    Pavel Brutt grinds into the wind at the head of the break, while Svein Tuft performs the same duty at the front of the peloton, 2:40 down the road.

     

  57. 16:06:16 CEST

    The last time the Giro began in Sardinia was in 2007, and there was some controversy about the first maglia rosa, as Enrico Gasparotto defied team orders to cross the line in the team time trial first ahead of his leader Danilo Di Luca. "In Saronni and Moser's cycling, if a gregario did that he'd have been sent home immediately," Di Luca huffed in the autobiography he published last year, Bestie da Vittoria. "That night at the table, Gasparotto said that he hadn't done it on purpose but the truth is that he was crafty. We knew from the radio that we were first and he wanted to take the jersey." Di Luca went on to win that Giro... and then tested positive in 2009 and again in 2013, and is now serving a life ban.

     

  58. 71km remaining from 206km

    16:07:00 CEST

    The leaders are approaching the first intermediate sprint of this Giro at Santa Teresa di Gallura.

     

  59. 70km remaining from 206km

    16:08:02 CEST

    Zhupa claims the first points of this Giro ahead of Teklehaimanot. The break is still 2:32 clear of the peloton.

     

  60. 16:10:14 CEST

    Kristian Sbaragli (Dimension Data) leads the bunch through the intermediate sprint, still 2:30 down on the break.

     

  61. 16:12:30 CEST

    It can hardly have escaped your attention that this is the 100th edition of the Giro d'Italia. Our gallery of 100 images from the race's history is available to browse here.

    Felice Gimondi climbing the Brocon during the 20th stage of the 1967 Giro D''Italia

     

  62. 67km remaining from 206km

    16:17:13 CEST

    Vincenzo Nibali is surrounded by a guard of Bahrain-Merida riders near the head of the peloton, including Gasparotto, the maglia rosa in Sardinia ten years ago. Nibali is on a custom bike to honour the 100th edition of the Giro, and you can read all the particulars here.

    Vincenzo Nibali's custom Merida Scultura for the 2017 Giro d'Italia

     

  63. 16:19:27 CEST

    Despite the stiff climb of San Pantaleo in the finale, Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) is confident that today's stage will end in a bunch sprint with the maglia rosa on the line. "I had a month away from racing but I raced again at the Tour of Yorkshire and I felt good there. I think I’m ready for the Giro d’Italia," Ewan said at the start. "I think the late climb will make things tough but I’m sure it’ll end in a sprint. There are a lot of guys who want the first pink jersey, so it’s going to be a hectic finale."

    Caleb Ewan with a face of concentration

     

  64. 16:21:16 CEST

    Ewan made his Giro debut a year ago, where second place in Bibione was his best showing. “I think I’m another year stronger and with another year of experience so I’m hoping to get some first places,” Ewan said, agreeing that Greipel and Gaviria would be the men to beat in Olbia today. “For sure they’re going to be the guys to watch for out for. I think they’re both going good and will be hard to beat.”

     

  65. 61km remaining from 206km

    16:23:48 CEST

    Svein Tuft has put in a fine shift on Ewan's behalf at the head of the peloton this afternoon, and the Canadian continues to set the tempo on the front. This day three years ago, of course, Tuft claimed the first maglia rosa of the Giro in Belfast and was then one of only two Orica riders to make it to finish in Trieste, along with Michael Hepburn. This time, of course, Orica-Scott have a GC contender in the shape of Adam Yates.

     

  66. 59km remaining from 206km

    16:27:17 CEST

    There is still a rather relaxed air in the peloton, and Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) chats with Filippo Pozzato towards the back. Nizzolo won the points competition last year but arrives at this Giro with just six days of racing in his legs after struggling with tendinitis since last December. “I’m not in the shape I wanted to be, I’m not at 100% after my delayed start to the season due to a knee problem. But I want to give my very best and do my best. I’m sure there’ll be a sprint finish but it’ll be a more difficult sprint than usual. There’ll be a lot of tension in the peloton. The wind could also cause some real problems," Nizzolo said. "The late climb could be an issue but it’ll be more important how we handle it. If we’re up front then good, but if were behind then things will be more difficult for the sprint. Sprints are always adrenaline-fueled but the chance of taking the first pink jersey will make it even more hectic."

     

  67. 53km remaining from 206km

    16:35:09 CEST

    The five leaders are still fighting gamely even if they must know it's a losing battle. Their buffer is 2:20 with a little more than an hour of racing to go. Tuft continues his effort at the head of the peloton.

     

  68. 50km remaining from 206km

    16:42:03 CEST

    Zhupa leads the break into the final fifty kilometres and towards the picturesque comune of Palau. The headwind has contributed to a - relatively - sedate pace thus far, which nobody in the peloton will be unhappy about. 

     

  69. 44km remaining from 206km

    16:51:25 CEST

    The peloton fans across the road as they begin climbing once again. 2:18 the deficit to the leaders.

    Cesare Benedetti and Eugert Zhupa at the front of the first Giro d'Italia breakaway

     

  70. 16:53:29 CEST

    Although it has been a remarkably calm opening stage - so far - the principal contenders have been vigilant and well placed towards the head of the peloton throughout. Nairo Quintana and Vincenzo Nibali, in particular, have never surrendered their positions just a few rows back from the sprinters' teams.

     

  71. 40km remaining from 206km

    16:55:50 CEST

    Cesare Benedetti (Bora-Hansgrohe), Eugert Zhupa (Wilier Triestina), Marcin Bialoblocki (CCC Sprandi Polkowice), Pavel Brutt (Gazprom-Rusvelo), Daniel Teklehaimanot (Dimension Data) enter the final 40 kilometres with a lead of 2:13 over the bunch, where Orica-Scott, Lotto Soudal and Quick-Step continue to set the tempo.

     

  72. 37km remaining from 206km

    16:58:12 CEST

    An FDJ delegation moves up on the right-hand side of the road, to put Thibaut Pinot into position ahead of the finale. 

     

  73. 35km remaining from 206km

    17:00:06 CEST

    The break's lead dips inside two minutes. They are approaching the second intermediate sprint at Cannigione, where, unlike the first sprint, there are bonus seconds on offer - 3 for the winner, 2 for second and 1 for the third rider across the line.

     

  74. 33km remaining from 206km

    17:05:10 CEST

    Teklehaimanot wins the sprint for the bonus seconds ahead of Brutt and Zhupa. The five leaders have 1:40 over the peloton.

     

  75. 30km remaining from 206km

    17:09:02 CEST

    Into the final 30 kilometres for the five leaders, who retain a lead of 1:35 over the peloton. There are quite a few teams attempting to move up now ahead of the climb of San Pantaleo.

     

  76. 28km remaining from 206km

    17:11:43 CEST

    Sky, Movistar, Bahrain-Merida and Trek-Segafredo are all among the teams muscling their way towards the front with Thomas (and Landa), Quintana, Nibali and Mollema in mind.

     

  77. 25km remaining from 206km

    17:16:20 CEST

    The five escapees approach the foot of the category 4 San Pantaleo (3.3km at an average of 5.6% and a maximum of 12%) with a lead of 1:13 over the peloton.

     

  78. 23.5km remaining from 206km

    17:18:26 CEST

    Bialoblocki is dropped by the leading group on the climb under the weight of Brutt's forcing.

     

  79. 17:19:45 CEST

    Benedetti needs one more point to make absolutely certain of the blue jersey this evening. 

     

  80. 17:20:32 CEST

    Filippo Pozzato (Wilier-Triestina) is well-placed towards the front of the peloton, perhaps with an eye to joining any moves over the other side of this climb.

     

  81. 22.5km remaining from 206km

    17:21:28 CEST

    Brutt, Benedetti, Teklehaimanot and Zhupa's lead drops to 54 seconds as the gradient begins to bite. 

     

  82. 21km remaining from 206km

    17:24:03 CEST

    • Climb

    Benedetti accelerates and picks up maximum points atop San Pantaleo to secure the first blue jersey of the Giro d'Italia. Brutt and Teklehaimanot come across in second and third.

     

  83. 17:24:40 CEST

    The bunch sweeps up Bialoblocki at the same point, 46 seconds down on the escapees.

     

  84. 19km remaining from 206km

    17:27:02 CEST

    The speed ratchets up in the main peloton on the drop off the San Pantaleo, and the break's lead drops to just over 30 seconds. The irrepressible Tuft sets the tempo on the front for Caleb Ewan.

     

  85. 15km remaining from 206km

    17:30:38 CEST

    The four survivors from the break continue to collaborate on the sweeping drop off the San Pantaleo, but they are raging against the dying of the light here. The gap nudges out to 40 seconds, however.

     

  86. 14km remaining from 206km

    17:32:27 CEST

    Tuft is still leading the line in the peloton, but there is a delegation from Movistar alongside him aiming to keep Quintana out of harm's way.

     

  87. 12km remaining from 206km

    17:33:41 CEST

    Zhupa, Benedetti, Teklehaimanot and Brutt still have 38 seconds in hand as they enter the final 12 kilometres. 

     

  88. 10km remaining from 206km

    17:35:58 CEST

    The leading quartet have 34 seconds in hand as the road flattens out and widens at the base of the descent and they approach the finale in Olbia.

     

  89. 9km remaining from 206km

    17:38:21 CEST

    Teklehaimot and Zhupa, in particular, are doing their utmost to keep this break alive. The gap remains steady at around 30 seconds.

     

  90. 8km remaining from 206km

    17:40:13 CEST

    Sky, Sunweb and Movistar are all well represented at the head of the bunch in support of their leaders. The sprinters' teams are being swamped for the time being.

     

  91. 7km remaining from 206km

    17:41:53 CEST

    Bahrain-Merida are on the front as the road narrows but Lotto Soudal and Quick-Step are looking to move up.

     

  92. 6km remaining from 206km

    17:42:24 CEST

    Twelve seconds the advantage for the escapees. Their adventure is almost over.

     

  93. 5km remaining from 206km

    17:43:08 CEST

    Given the headwind in the finale, no one team has wanted to take command in the peloton. The break continues to linger off the front.

     

  94. 4km remaining from 206km

    17:43:39 CEST

    Bob Jungels hits the front of the peloton for Quick-Step but there is no real train behind him just yet.

     

  95. 3.5km remaining from 206km

    17:44:02 CEST

    The escapees are swept up on the outskirts of Olbia. Gruppo compatto.

     

  96. 3.2km remaining from 206km

    17:44:50 CEST

    A crash just outside the 3km to go mark, but it's not clear if any GC contenders have been caught up in the incident...

     

  97. 2.5km remaining from 206km

    17:45:45 CEST

    It looks set to be a chaotic sprint. No single team is in charge of this, but individual sprinters well placed include Greipel, Ewan and Sacha Modolo.

     

  98. 2km remaining from 206km

    17:46:23 CEST

    Bora-Hansgrohe lead into the final two kilometres for Sam Bennett. Caleb Ewan has some teammates with him too.

     

  99. 1km remaining from 206km

    17:47:13 CEST

    Lukas Postlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe) leads into the final kilometre with a small gap over the peloton. Can he spring a surprise?

     

  100. 17:48:38 CEST

    Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe) leads through the final bend and this could be a winning gap...

     

  101. 17:50:17 CEST

    Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe) wins the opening stage of the Giro d'Italia and takes the first maglia rosa of the race. The Austrian hit the front with two kilometres to go in support of Sam Bennett but when a gap opened behind him he simply kept on going. He even had time to sit up and celebrate before he crossed the line.

     

  102. 17:50:51 CEST

    Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) wins the sprint for second place ahead of Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) but that will be of scant consolation for the Australian.

     

  103. 17:53:32 CEST

    Pöstlberger has already claimed victory in a beautiful stage race in May, winning the An Post Rás in Ireland in 2015, but this upset will go down as the biggest win of his career to date. The 25-year-old was very impressive at E3 Harelbeke this spring, coming home in fifth place after chasing with Luke Durbridge on the run-in.

     

  104. 17:54:15 CEST

    Result:

     

    1 Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 5:13:35
    2 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-Scott
    3 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal
    4 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
    5 Sacha Modolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
    6 Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Dimension Data
    7 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
    8 Ryan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension Data
    9 Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe
    10 Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Team Sunweb

     

  105. 17:56:47 CEST

    General classification after stage 1:


    1 Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 5:13:25
    2 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-Scott 0:00:04
    3 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal 0:00:06
    4 Pavel Brutt (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo 0:00:09
    5 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:10
    6 Sacha Modolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
    7 Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Dimension Data
    8 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
    9 Ryan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension Data
    10 Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe

     

  106. 18:01:17 CEST

    A surprised Lukas Pöstlberger speaks: “We wanted to try for a sprint for the final for Sam, but through the city the lead-out trains, they lost my wheel or something and I had a gap. I heard over the radio, c’mon Posty go, try!' and I put all I have in. It worked out, victory for the team, first professional victory for me - maglia rosa. I think I will need many weeks to realise this victory. It’s unbelievable, really.”

     

     

  107. 18:06:17 CEST

     

  108. 18:09:37 CEST

     

  109. 18:11:38 CEST

    Bora-Hansgrohe directeur sportif Jens Zemke admits he was as surprised as anyone by Postlberger's victory. “We also didn’t see it coming," he tells Eurosport. "The plan was to get Cesare Benedetti in the break for the blue jersey and the second plan was to work for Sam Bennett for the sprint. Lukas was supposed to be the second last man in the lead-out but something happened in the final kilometre. I didn’t see it, I just heard Sam shouting on the radio, ‘Go, go, go!’!

     

  110. 18:21:34 CEST

    Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) was among the riders caught behind that crash just shy of the 3km to go banner, and the Dutchman has conceded 13 seconds to his general classification rivals. He seems to have been the only contender to lose out today. Nibali, Quintana, Thomas, Dumoulin, Pinot, Zakarin Van Garderen, Dennis, Landa and Mollema all finished safely in the front group.

     

  111. 18:37:28 CEST

    Lukas Pöstlberger claims the opening stage of the Giro d'Italia.

     

  112. 18:55:41 CEST

    A selection of finish line quotes are available here, including reaction from Bora-Hansgrohe and BMC's leaders Rohan Dennis and Tejay van Garderen.

     

  113. 18:59:21 CEST

    A reminder of the day's result:

     

    1 Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 5:13:35
    2 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-Scott
    3 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal
    4 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
    5 Sacha Modolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
    6 Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Dimension Data
    7 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
    8 Ryan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension Data
    9 Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe
    10 Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Team Sunweb

     

  114. 18:59:47 CEST

    And the general classification picture:

     

    1 Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 5:13:25
    2 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-Scott 0:00:04
    3 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal 0:00:06
    4 Pavel Brutt (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo 0:00:09
    5 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:10
    6 Sacha Modolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
    7 Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Dimension Data
    8 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
    9 Ryan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension Data
    10 Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe

     

  115. 19:02:09 CEST

    Thanks for following our live coverage on Cyclingnews this afternoon. We'll be back with more tomorrow as stage 2 brings the Giro from Olbia to Tortoli. A full report, results and pictures are available here, and we'll have all the news and reaction from Olbia including the thoughts of Caleb Ewan and the surprise maglia rosa Lukas Postlberger.

     

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