Giro d'Italia Stage 1 wrap-up

Bettini back to his best

After a disappointing Spring Classics campaign, Olympic road champion Paolo Bettini (Quick.Step-Davitamon) triumphed on the road to Tropea yesterday, taking the opening road stage of the 88th Giro d'Italia in convincing fashion.

The difficult finish caught many - including Alessandro Petacchi and his Fassa Bortolo team - by surprise, but 31 year-old Bettini wasn't one caught off-guard: "I saw it the climb the other day and knew it was good for my characteristics as a rider," he said at the finish. "But to say [I can win] is one thing, but to do it is another. So I'm happy, because I haven't won yet this year."

Until yesterday, Bettini had never won a stage of his home Tour, nor the maglia rosa, but he accomplished both on Stage 1, and goes into today's stage from Catanzaro Lido to Santa Maria Del Cedro with a 12 second advantage over Robbie McEwen (Davitamon-Lotto) and 14 seconds on Ale-Jet Petacchi.

"My objective at the Giro was to do well here and so far it's good! My wife and daughter were here today and my team rode very well for me. We'll just have to see what happens," said Bettini about defending his race lead. "Maybe I won't defend it, but will try to get it back later."

Stage 1 Full results & report

Start list
Stages & results
Stage by Stage
Past winners

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1