Modolo rues missed sprint victory in Nijmegen
Lampre-Merida's Sacha Modolo found himself in third place at the end of a bunch kick to the line during stage 2 at the Giro d'Italia. The Italian says he lost several positions in the final few hundred metres, which cost him dearly. He did, however, thanks his teammates for delivering him into a good position ahead of the final sprint.
"I have succeeded, thanks to my teammates, to find a good location to set the sprint, unfortunately by 600 metres forward, between me and the first two riders of the stage, I lost a few positions and I found myself a moment of delay in the sprint," Modolo said in a team press release. If I had found the wheel of Kittel or Demare immediately, the battle for victory would have been played better.
"Nothing to take away from the beautiful sprint that Marcel did. He is really strong in this period of the year."
Berlato left empty-handed after all-day breakaway
Giacomo Berlato (Nippo-Vini Fantini) wound up in the breakaway he was hoping for during stage 2 with two companions; Omar Fraile Matarranza (Dimension Data) and Maarten Tjallingii (LottoNl-Jumbo). They jumped away as soon as the flag was dropped and the peloton let them go. The three riders quickly pushed their lead out to three minutes and extended it to nearly 10 minutes with roughly 100km to go. Tjallingii picked up full points in both the first sprint in Malden and the second sprint in Berg en Dal, and took the most aggressive rider award. Fraile jumped ahead to take the points and the first mountains jersey of the race. Leaving Berlato without an award for his efforts even though he was the last man to be reeled in by the peloton.
"Today I tried immediately to be in the escape, since from the km 0," Berlato said. "I would like to try the emotion to wear a Giro d’Italia jersey, like the GPM one, for me and for the team, that has believed in me since last year, launching me in the professional world. To go on Giro d’Italia podium would be a dream and an honor.
"Anyway at the end there was no more collaboration in the escape so I tried to re-launch alone. Unfortunately I’ve been caught 10km before the finish line, but today we demonstrate to be there, with an attacking attitude. Again today the public was amazing. We were the show for them, but they were the show for us."
Ewan top-ten on first Giro road stage
Caleb Ewan was tipped as one of the possible winners of stage 2 to Nijmegen with the Orica-GreenEdge but found himself boxed in an unable to contest for the win. The Australian won two stages of the Tour Down Under in January and had two top-ten results at his next WorldTour race, Tirreno-Adriatico, in the lead up to his debut Giro.
"As predicted it was a very hectic day," said sports director Matt White of the 190km stage. "It's often like this on the first road stage of a Grand Tour especially with the incredible crowds that turned out today. Caleb (Ewan) and the team did very well to hold their positions going into the finale and obviously we would have liked to have a better result."
Ewan will have an opportunity for another sprint finish in stage 3, among several others across the three week race, and White expects the 21-year-old to once again feature at the pointy end.
"Caleb is a young developing rider. He is exceptionally talented and he will gain a lot of valuable experience in this race, hopefully we will get another a chance to contest the finish tomorrow," said White.
Watch Giro d'Italia Stage 2 Highlights
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Pozatto with a vintage Wilier for Giro sign on
Flamboyant Italian Filippo Pozzato rode a special edition vintage Willier to the stage 2 sign on at the Giro d'Italia with the Southeast-Venezuela leaving his race bike at the bus in favour of the steel steed. The Italian bicycle company Wilier Triestina has become the new title sponsor of Southeast-Venezuela with red becoming the primary colour of the team kit and bikes.
Pozzato was spotted on the Dura Ace equipped bike riding to sign on, later tweeting "Vi piace questo "vintagestyle" in un @giroditalia cosî moderno e figo??? Io lo amo #pp #giro" [You like this "vintagestyle" in a @giroditalia modern and so cool?? I love him].
At last year's Giro, compatriot Elia Viviani rode a vintage red Pinarello to some of the stage sign ons and it appears Pozzato is continuing the tradition in 2016 with Wilier.
Pozzato's vintage bike for the stage 2 sign on (Filippo Pozzato/Twitter)