Live coverage of stage 2 of the 2017 Giro d’Italia, 221 kilometres from Olbia to Tortolì.
Hello and welcome to stage 2 of the Giro d'Italia. The official start is around 30 minute away but already the crowds have arrived and the riders - most of them anyway - have signed on. Ahead of us 221km of Grand Tour racing. You can follow every single pedal stroke with us right here.
In truth this is a highly demanding outing and it's going to difficult to control. None of the GC teams will be keen to sit on the front for several hours and so Bora - with the maglia rosa within their ranks - will be expected to do the majority of the pace setting, at least in the first half of the stage.
There are two categorised climbs along the route and the race manual calls this a medium mountain stage. It's not impossible that a break could decide the outcome of the day, even though this is just the second day into the race. Again, a lot of weight on the Bora squad in that regard.
Our very own Alasdair Fotheringham - I'm sure there are others out there - spoke to Orica about the stage.
"Probably the first word that comes to mind to describe it is 'relentless'," Orica-Scott sports director Julian Dean, who's reconnoitred the whole stage route with team director Matt White, told Cyclingnews on Friday. "It's going to make for a very hard day.
"You're not going to win the Giro d'Italia there, and it'll probably not be a hard day for the big favourites, but it's going to be hard for the sprinters to make the time cut. They're going to have to fight for quite a long time before they can get their group together. There's a lot of up and down, it'll be a long time before the race settles into a pattern."
There are plenty of teams here without genuine GC cards in the race, and without sprinters too, so they'll see this is the first chance to set themselves up for a stage win.
Here's how things stand on GC ahead of the stage:
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 0:00:08
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
@giroditalia Sat, 6th May 2017 09:08:19
Directly from the 2017 Giro road book:
More from Orica's Julian Dean:
"So the climbs are long, they are not particularly steep, but they are relentless. It's not very often you get a day that hard so early in a Grand Tour. Amongst the big favourites, I don't think we'll see too much movement, maybe 40 or 50 guys in the main group when it reaches the finish. But it'll be a good day for opportunists."
Dean calls for an opportunist does he? There are plenty of them in this year's race. Haas, Slagter, Formolo, Visconti, Hansen to name but a few and one tactic could see some of the GC teams throw riders up the road so that they have a ready made excuse not to chase later on.
@OricaScott Sat, 6th May 2017 09:19:48
Meanwhile, don't forget that you can listen to/download our latest podcast from iTunes or Acast. In the latest episode the CN team pick their favourites for the Giro, we hear from Chris Froome on his form, and we discuss the racism incident at the Tour de Romandie. Here's the latest episode.
@Bahrain_Merida Sat, 6th May 2017 09:21:27
The stage has now started and we're off!
As you might expect Pöstlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe) was all smiles at the start this morning after taking the biggest win of his life yesterday. The broad smile has been etched on his face for almost 24 hours now and it was still there as the bunch rolled out and through the neutralized zone. Big day for the young rider, however, as he and his Bora buddies will be expected to control the peloton.
@giroditalia Sat, 6th May 2017 09:47:37
The neutralized zone has been completed and we're officially racing. 221km to go and already we've a few attacks off the front of the peloton. Here we go!
It's rolling terrain from the off and the race climbs almost from the gun as it heads inland. Still no break or significant attacks from the peloton but they keep coming. It's only a matter of time.
A few more attacks and this time the elastic has snapped. We've got four or five riders who are starting to form at the front of the race and one of them is Koshevoy from the Willier team. The bunch has immediately sat up.
Five. We've settled on that for the break today and they've already pushed the lead out to over two minutes. The peloton have sat up with a number of riders taking a nature break.
The leaders are: Oswian, Koshevoy, Teklehaimanot, Shalunov and Andreetta.
In the break of five we have:
Daniel Teklehaimanot (Dimension Data)
Lukasz Owsian (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)
Ilia Koshevoy (Wilier Triestina)
Evgeny Shalunov (Gazprom - Rusvelo)
Simone Andreetta (Bardiani CSF)
Teklehaimanot might be tying to lay the foundations for a KOM bid today. There are two climbs on the menu and these are the stages on which the opportunists need to strike. There is of course a stage win up for grabs too.
Five minutes for the leaders after around 45 minutes of racing. Bora and Bahrain are near the front of the bunch but no chase as of yet. There's still a long way to go in today's stage.
Bora look content to let the break grab a few more minutes as they huddle around pink prince Pöstlberger. Will the Pöstlberger ring twice? Or is this Pöstlberger cooked? Don't worry TV pictures start soon enough.
Away from the Giro and the news is that Nacer Bouhanni is going to miss the Tour of California, due to a recent concussion he sustained in the Tour of Yorkshire. A blow for Cofidis and the race but the right call considering the injury. You can read up the Cofidis' rider, just here.
Meanwhile the break have pushed their advantage out to over 6 minutes. No panic or reaction from the peloton, who remain spread across the road and taking it relatively easy for the moment.
Dimension Data have Tweeted confirmation that Daniel Teklehaimanot is going for the KOM points today. He's also doing a job for the rest of his team, as they can save their powder for the finale and possibly setting up Haas. Haas has told former Harrods - Principia rider Matt Stephens, at the start this morning, that he 'has the heart and the legs'.
174km remaining from 221km
174km to go and the break are spinning through nicely, and sharing the workload. The skies are still overcast but it's perfect weather for racing at this time of the year. Bora are starting mount a bit of a chase but it's of course not full gas.
Bora have shuffled a few more men to the front of the race. The gap to the peloton is at 6'15 with 169km to go and the sun has started to burn through the cloud.
Bora have the bunch string out and the pace increases. It's still a bit early to start bringing back the break as we see Quintana and his Movistar men sit just off the front of the peloton. 6'27 for the five leaders and 168km to go.
We're coming up to the intermediate sprint. and Teklehaimanot has gone out and taken it. I was about to say they would roll through but the Di Data rider had no thoughts of sharing out the prizes. That's a bit of surprise move if he's going for the KOM points and wants maximum collaboration from the riders in the break. He's clearly thinking about the maglia rosa today too.
The work from the Bora team has taken a minute off the break's lead and it's down to 5'05 with 159km to go.
The break are on a descent at the moment and Teklehaimanot drifts to the back and stretches out his quads. He was in the break yesterday of course so he might be tiring slightly.
A shade over two hours of racing covered and we've still 157km to go. The gap has come down by a few more seconds, and it's at 4'57. Trying to think of other young riders who've attacked and won stages late in Grand Tours....
Michael Boogerd in the 96 Tour de France... Rubens Bertogliati in the 2002 Tour de France... If you can think of any others let me know at Twitter.com/dnlbenson
144km remaining from 221km
The gap continues to tumble and it stands at 3'51 with just under 150km to go.
We're seeing Katusha move up towards the front of the peloton. They have Zakarin in their ranks, a real contender for the podium, and with the real climbs about to start they're looking to position their team leader just in case it all kicks off. 138km to go.
136km remaining from 221km
And we are on the first climb of the day with 136km to go and the gap between the peloton and the break at 4'14.
Cesare Benedetti has been on the front of the peloton for well over 30km as he continues to set the pace for Bora. He's in the KOM jersey but that's not the priority at this moment in time for the German outfit - they're protecting the maglia rosa.
The break have passed through the feedzone but only a few of the five have picked up lunch. The rest will feed from the car as and when they need it. Cesare Benedetti is still on the front and setting the pace for the peloton.
Astana put the hammer down just after the feedzone and the pace has increased dramatically.
The bunch are together but that action has taken a minute off the break's advantage. It's now at 3'07 with 123km to go.
The move from Astana has brought the race into full on action mode and now BMC Racing have moved up and they're setting the pace with both van Garderen and Dennis near the front of the bunch.
The wind has picked up and it's causing problems for the break as they all get their line wrong on a corner.
114km remaining from 221km
The wind conditions to be a factor as the break start to climb again. It's a head/cross wind at the moment as the break line out and the bunch continue to hold the gap at 3'18.
BMC have come off the front of the bunch but LottoNL Jumbo have moved up and are sitting just off the Bora train. 112km to go.
The break continue to climb as a few spots of rain begin to fall on the riders. 111km still to go and the gap has gone back out to 4'46 with the bunch easing off in the last few minutes. 3km to go until the top of the first categorized climb for the leaders.
Cesare Benedetti has put in a real shift for his team today. He's having a snack, and continuing to set the pace on the front of the bunch.
@Lotto_Soudal Sat, 6th May 2017 13:04:02
Koshevoy (Wilier Triestina) attacks but he's brought back. Then Owsian attacks but he's marked too.
They're all going too far from the top and then blowing.
Simone Andreetta (Bardiani CSF) takes it in the end. I think Daniel Teklehaimanot (Dimension Data) was third.
As we approach the top of the climb for the bunch we see Sky and Movistar move their leaders to the front ahead of the long descent.
100km remaining from 221km
100km to go. The gap is at 3'23.
We see Nibali for the first time in the stage as he emerges from the peloton with his Bahrain teammates. The Italian drifts onto the maglia rosa's rear wheel as the peloton lines out after a tricky left hand corner.
Cross winds for the break as they start another rolling rise on the race profile. This could be an interesting sector for the bunch in a few minutes. If there are teams with the right skill sets to try and break the race up.
90km remaining from 221km
Into the final 90km and and Bora have moved back to the front of the peloton. The gap to the five man break has been holding at three minutes for some time now but we've still got around two hours left to race. It's been a long, long day in the saddle and it's only stage 2 of this year's Giro d'Italia.
The break have been out front for over four hours now and they're starting to take shorter turns on the front. It's going to be really interesting to see how they handle and tackle the cat 2 climb that's coming up.
@Cyclingnewsfeed Sat, 6th May 2017 13:43:19
@Lotto_Soudal Sat, 6th May 2017 13:42:36
Remember you can find our complete Giro d'Italia start list, right here.
Ruben Plaza is back with the team cars. His experience will be vital for Adam Yates in this year's race.
@Cyclingnewsfeed Sat, 6th May 2017 13:47:08
@Ride_Argyle Sat, 6th May 2017 13:46:41
81km remaining from 221km
For the first time in a long time the gap is under three minutes between the break and the bunch. It's at 2'51 with 80km to go.
A tailwind now for the race and that will offer the break some respite as we press on towards the finish. The gap is at 2'45 with 78km to go. Cesare Benedetti (Bora-Hansgrohe) has been on the front for around three hours now and he's put in a huge effort for his team in order to keep the break in check.
We're heading to the second intermediate sprint of the day and this is where a few more bonus seconds will be handed out. Daniel Teklehaimanot (Dimension Data) has desires of the maglia rosa today so it might come down to the next few kilometres.
The rain has gone, thankfully and the sun is back out, with a tailwind pushing the break closer and closer to the finish. However their advantage is down to 2'04 with 73km still to go. The peloton hold all the cards at the moment.
The five leaders can see their advantage slipping away as it drops to below 1'30 for the first time. 71km to go. Bennett has been dropped by the bunch. Word at the start is that he's sick.
Riders are starting to take risks on the inside as they try and move up the bunch. Tem Sky have moved up in unison with Landa and Thomas present and accounted for.
@Cyclingnewsfeed Sat, 6th May 2017 14:05:26
@Cyclingnewsfeed Sat, 6th May 2017 14:06:07
The break are on the second cat climb now as Daniel Teklehaimanot (Dimension Data) lines them out. The crowds are getting bigger as we move closer towards the end of the stage as we close in on the intermediate sprint.
And it's Daniel Teklehaimanot (Dimension Data) who takes three more bonus seconds. If he can finish in the bunch it wont make too much difference, as he lost 18 seconds yesterday.
64km remaining from 221km
Sam Bennett has made it back to the bunch as the pace drops once more. The bunch had the break at 1'20 but the gap has gone back out to 1'37. 64km to go as we see Greipel help set the pace but it's Movistar who dominate the front of the peloton.
Bora, once more, move up to the front and set the pace. They've been a constant presence on the front and have done the maglia rosa justice today in the defence.
15km of this second cat climb still to come. It's not a steep gradient but after four hours in the saddle it's going to really hurt for some of these riders. They've actually been climbing for around 15km before the official climb started. 62km to go.
A mechanical for Boara. It's taking a while to change bikes but he's up and running as we see Scinto giving Koshevoy (Wilier Triestina) some helpful advice from the team car. The gap is just 1'07.
60km remaining from 221km
60km to go and the gap is at 59 seconds. They might be caught on this climb. It's looking very likely.
And there's an attack from the break. It's from Evgeny Shalunov (Gazprom - Rusvelo) and it's split the group into pieces. Two riders make it across before the other make it over. Now there's another attack and they split again. 1'20 to the bunch.
Lukasz Owsian (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) is dropped so we have four riders left in the lead with the bunch at 1'35.
And Bennett has been dropped again by the bunch, with the Irishman really struggling out there today.
There's more cohesion in the break after that run of little attacks. They know that they're evenly matched and that they need to work together. I'm guessing that they're also pretty cooked after around five hours of racing.
Ewan and Greipel are still in the bunch so we could have a bunch sprint on our hands later today. We've 55km to go as BMC and Orica sit on the front.
UAE are also well represented on the front of the bunch as the break come back to within a minute of the bunch. There's little to no chance of the break surviving today but they can still decide this climb. Over five hours of racing, and the pace has been steady at best for most of the stage.
More attacks from the peloton as Evgeny Shalunov (Gazprom - Rusvelo) attacks and Daniel Teklehaimanot (Dimension Data) marks it. Ilia Koshevoy (Wilier Triestina) then makes it over but we've still 3km to go and the gap is only 38 seconds.
@Cyclingnewsfeed Sat, 6th May 2017 14:49:06
50km remaining from 221km
50km to go in the stage.
Another attack and it's Daniel Teklehaimanot (Dimension Data) who closes it down.
Daniel Teklehaimanot (Dimension Data) if he wants these KOM points needs to make a move. He's being drawn into a game with these two ProConti riders and it's costing him time. He's playing too safe.
The gap is just 10 seconds and the bunch are closing.
Daniel Teklehaimanot (Dimension Data) attacks.
Daniel Teklehaimanot (Dimension Data) takes 15 points and that's going to be enough to take the KOM jersey. He did it the hard way but he's earned that jersey for sure.
Oh and the break has been caught. All back together at the summit and with 46km to go.
And Haas has now attacked from the bunch. As we start the descent. A QuickStep rider has gone after him it seems but the gap isn't grown. Nizzolo has been dropped by the bunch.
And Haas and the rider from QuickStep have started to open a handy little gap with around 42km to go.
39km remaining from 221km
It's Martinelli from QS. They have 16 seconds on the bunch with 39km to go. It's Nibali's Bahrain Merida team who set the pace.
@quickstepteam Sat, 6th May 2017 15:04:37
The two leaders have just 10 seconds on the bunch so it's steadily coming down. I'm not sure Haas is getting much help from his breakaway partner.
Haas and his shadow sit up and wait for the peloton. They're caught with 35km to go.
Bahrain have taken up the pace duties for at the front of the bunch. Astana and AG2R are also in the mix as we see BMC bring their two GC cards up to the fore. Well over six hours in the saddle for the riders before they finish the stage today.
28km remaining from 221km
28km to go and Nibali's team still lead the way. Sky are moving into the mix as well as they carry Landa and Thomas to the front. Visconti, who I thought might have a chance for today, is setting the pace.
Daniel Teklehaimanot (Dimension Data) is being dropped and so is Nizzolo. Every time we reach a climb he starts to drift backwards.
A fast descent as we approach the finish. It's up and down before the final 10km and they're all flat. A number of sprinters will be licking their lips in anticipation of a bunch sprint. There are a few splits appearing in the bunch though as Nibali's men crank up the pace.
20km remaining from 221km
Gaviria is here. Ewan and Greipel as we head into the final 20km of this everlasting stage that has seen the riders move towards seven hours of racing.
It's still Nibali's men on the front as they keep their leader out of harms way. Ewan not quite at the front but he has time to move up as we head through these tight, twisty roads. We're still descending before the roads flatten out with around 10km to go.
15km remaining from 221km
15km to go and it's the same pattern as before as Bahrain set the pace with Sky and Movistar tucked in behind them. The maglia rosa has had a quiet day so far but he'll be looking for another shock finish because Ewan is just four seconds off his race lead.
It's a lovely and winding descent but there's little opportunity for the riders to enjoy the scenery with 11km to go.
9km to go and we can see Ewan is nicely tucked in. Win the stage and he'll take pink, it's that simple. Assuming that Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe) doesnt take second in the sprint.
Orica line out on the flat, pulling alongside Team Sky, Bahrain and LottoNL Jumbo. No sign of Greipel's men just yet.
And Orica take over for Ewan with 7.6km to go
BMC are also near the front. Some Katusha riders are at the back and that's because Zakarin is off the back and losing time. Not sure what happened but he's got a huge chase ahead of him.
6km remaining from 221km
6km to and Zakarin's Giro is in real danger right now. His entire team is waiting for him and they're hunting down the main field.
It's a huge ask though to try and bring this back with 5km to go. They're in between the cars and there's no time gaps. It could be 15 seconds, it could be 50.
Up front and there's no way the bunch will ease off. The gap to Zakarin is at 28 seconds. Now 26. It's coming down but not quickly enough.
It's 24 seconds and we've still not seen Soudal move up. 4.1km to go and the gap is 22 seconds. Now it's at 21. It's coming down.
But here come Lotto Soudal. They've joined Movistar and Orica at the front of the race.
3km remaining from 221km
3km to go!
11 seconds for Zakarin. He might be able to save the day.
The maglia rosa is in the hunt but can he take on Ewan in a head to head?
9 seconds for the Katusha train as they try to chase back on.
Zakarin is going to make it. Day saved by Katusha.
At the front Orica wind things up with 1.8km to go.
Lotto are leading this one out.
Ewan is on Greipel's wheel. This finish suits the German but Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe) has tried to attack but it's too fast.
Lotto lead out. There's Gaviria too.
Orica lead out. 300m to go.
Ewan opens up and hits the front but oh no! A mechanical.
And Greipel takes the win and I think the maglia rosa as well.
Lotto riders surround Greipel at the line and the German national champion has his seventh Giro stage win. He will take the pink jersey too. He was dropped at one point in the race. Ferrari was second and Gaviria third.
No Stuyven was third in the end. It looked like it would be three-way sprint between Ewan, Greipel and Gaviria but the Australian seemed to drop his chain just as he moved out of the saddle. He banged the bars in frustration.
Here's our brief report and results from today's stage.
1 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal 6:05:18
2 Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Team UAE Emirates
3 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
4 Fernando Gaviria (Col) Quick-Step Floors
5 Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Dimension Data
6 Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
7 Ryan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension Data
8 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky
9 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-Scott
10 Valerio Conti (Ita) Team UAE Emirates
It was a foot, and not a pedal in the end for Ewan. He pulled his foot out after rubbing shoulders with Gaviria. He's still looking for his maiden stage win in the Giro d'Italia.
And the GC picture after today:
1 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal 11:18:39
2 Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:04
3 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-Scott 0:00:08
4 Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Team UAE Emirates
5 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:10
6 Pavel Brutt (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo 0:00:12
7 Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Dimension Data 0:00:14
8 Ryan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension Data
9 Fernando Gaviria (Col) Quick-Step Floors
10 Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal)
This is a really good one of course. It wasn’t an easy day of course. It was six hours on the bike and the headwind played into our hands that a bunch sprint would happen. That happened on the last climb, otherwise there would have been some attacks. I’m really proud of my teammates who supported me today in this stage win. This win and the pink jersey is for them and also for my mother.
Lars Bak (Lotto Soudal)
It was a really long day with the headwind but it was a happy ending in the end. It was really controlled. Bora did an amazing job and then we did a really good leadout in the end. We take the win and now Andre is back on the winning track again.
You can find our stage race highlights, right here.
And here's our updated report, results, photos and video highlights from stage 2.
Zakarin appeared to make contact but the results show that he lost 20 seconds on the stage. That's not going to end his GC challenge but every second counts and that's a sure dent for his podium hopes. More on that later this evening.
Thanks for joining us today. You can find our complete report, results, photos and video highlights, right here.
We will be back tomorrow with live coverage starting from 13:00 CET. See you then!
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