The overall contenders hardly made a dent into the 3,000 plus kilometers in this year’s Giro d’Italia with the opening 8.6km time trial in Turin but the riders vying for the maglia rosa were still scattered throughout the results.
Pre-race favourites such as Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) and Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange) put in very similar performances on the pan-flat course to finish 39 and 38 seconds behind stage winner Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers).
The best performance from a GC contender came from one of last year’s revelations, João Almeida (Deceuninck-QuickStep), who finished fourth on the stage with a time of 9:04.
On the flat but technical course, Almeida put two seconds into teammate Remco Evenepoel, who was making his Grand Tour debut, while Astana-Premier Tech leader Aleksandr Vlasov put in a highly credible account of himself to finish 11 seconds down on Almeida.
Unsurprisingly, the pure climbers suffered on the course with Daniel Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) losing to 40 seconds to Almeida. Emanuel Buchmann and Mikel Landa both lost over 30 seconds on the Deceuninck-QuickStep rider who spent 15 days in the race lead last year, while last year’s runner-up Jai Hindley (Team DSM) lost 29 seconds to the Portuguese rider.
Vincenzo Nibali (Trek Segafredo), who returned to action following a recent wrist fracture, put in a better than average performance to finish 41 seconds off Ganna but only 24 seconds down on Almeida. Hugh Carthy was possibly one of the happiest GC contenders at the end of the stage, finishing ahead of Yates, Nibali and Bernal and conceding only 21 seconds to Almeida.
Pavel Sivakov, who came into the Giro d’Italia as Team Ineos’s co-leader, put five seconds into Egan Bernal with a solid performance, but that small time difference is likely to mean anything when the race heads into the mountains later this month.
George Bennett’s (Jumbo Visma) ride was somewhat overshadowed by his teammates Edoardo Affini and Tobias Foss, who finished second and third on the stage, but the Kiwi will be relatively pleased with a ride that saw him sit neatly in the pack of overall contenders.
The few seconds Almeida put into Martin are unlikely to define the race given the number of high mountains facing the riders, as well as the gravel stages, but given that the Giro was won by just 39 seconds last year every time gap is precious. The GC winners after stage 1 were Almeida and certainly Vlasov, especially given the Russian’s bad luck in last year’s race.
|4||João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-QuickStep||0:09:04|
|7||Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep||0:00:02|
|11||Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech||0:00:07|
|32||Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Ineos Grenadiers||0:00:17|
|35||Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Education-Nippo||0:00:21|
|37||Simon Yates (GBr) Team BikeExchange||0:00:21|
|40||Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers||0:00:22|
|50||Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo||0:00:24|
|52||George Bennett (NZl) Jumbo-Visma|
|56||Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team||0:00:25|
|73||Jai Hindley (Aus) Team DSM||0:00:29|
|77||Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain Victorious||0:00:32|
|91||Romain Bardet (Fra) Team DSM||0:00:35|
|104||Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe||0:00:38|
|108||Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-Up Nation||0:00:40|
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Daniel Benson is the Editor in Chief at both Cyclingnews.com and BikePerfect.com. Based in the UK, he has worked within cycling for almost 15 years, and he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he has reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he runs the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.
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