Grand Tour debutant Fernando Gaviria was tipped as the man to beat on stage 1 of the Giro d'Italia into Olbia but instead it was the largely unknown Lukas Pöstlberger who took the victory and first maglia rosa of 2017. With Pöstlberger clipping off the front of the race in the closing kilometres, the sprint teams struggled to get into gear through the technical finale. The Bora man held off the chasers to spoil the day for the sprinters and become the first Austrian stage winner at the Giro.
Although Gaviria has a familiar lead out on hand in Italy from his Quick-Step Floors team, he explained that bad positioning in a technical finale made a difficult task all but impossible as he crossed the line in 12th place.
"Today's stage was hard, and the technical finish made things even more complicated. The team did a great job chasing the escapees, but in the last kilometers, after the crash, it became very difficult to be in control of the whole situation," Gaviria said. "Coming into the last roundabout I wasn't well-placed and my ambitions for a good result today came to an end there. But it's only the beginning of the race and there will be other opportunities."
With three stage 1 victories already on his palmares, the 22-year-old has proven he starts races well. His list of wins at stage races is tilted towards the first few days of racing although the 100th edition of the Giro though is a completely new experience for the Colombian. While there will be several more opportunities for a stage win, Gaviria explained pre-race that a win isn't his only aim as he also wants to make it all the way to Milan.
"Going to Milan, all the way, is the big goal this time round," he said of his ambitions ahead of the race. "I can only hope to do things the best way possible."
Read more on this article
- Giro d'Italia: Stage 1 finish line quotes
- Giro d'Italia: Ewan angry and disappointed after missing out on first pink jersey
- Destiny steps in to give Postlberger his moment of Giro d'Italia glory
- Giro d'Italia: Stage 1 highlights – Video
- Greipel rues missed chance for Giro d'Italia lead
With stage 2 of the Giro looking to be beyond the sprinters such as Gaviria, Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) and Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal), Gaviria can look ahead to several more opportunities to claim a maiden Grand Tour stage win. However, his dream of the pink jersey looks extinguished for now with compatriot Nairo Quintana (Movistar) the more likely of the two to pull on the leader's jersey in 2017.
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