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93rd Giro d'Italia - Stage 2 & 3 Reactions
By Staff
Date: 5/11/2010
93rd Giro d'Italia - Stage 2 & 3 Reactions

93rd Giro d'Italia - Stage  2 & 3 Reactions
The Teams & Riders comment on the first stage of the Giro in the Netherlands, Wouter Weylandt, Saxo Bank' Richie Porte, Milram's Gerry van Gerwen Satisfied, Cervélo's Alex Sans Vega: 'not an easy day'

© 210 Gazzetta dello Sport

Quick Step
Wouter Weylandt winner of Stage 2

For Wouter Weylandt, born in 1984, this is his second success in a Major stage race, which adds to the victory he obtained in the 2008 Vuelta a Espańa.

“It means a lot to me to win this stage" - explained Weylandt - "I saw right away that the route was adapted to my traits, plus I know these roads well; it’s where I ran my first races when I had just passed to the professionals. I like racing in these conditions, with wind, when it’s essential to stay in the first positions of the group and be on the lookout for traps and falls. In the first stage I wasn’t brilliant, but I felt like my legs were spinning well and this gave me the confidence to run a good race. In the end phase I came out of the last curve before the final straightway really well. I realized that Brown was very fast and he was riding my wheel, but I accelerated and gritted my teeth giving it my all to get across that finish line first."

"Unfortunately in the first part of the season I wasn’t able to best express myself due to a series of physical problems and some unfortunate episodes. This victory is very important because it’s boosted my confidence and the morale of the whole team. This is my first participation in the Giro d’Italia; now I’ll try to take it day by day, keeping an eye out for chances to shine, stage after stage.”

Team Saxo Bank
Richie Porte Now Second Overall Goes for Pink

An endless number of casualties from crashes characterized the stage and Cadel Evans (BMC) lost the overall lead to Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) due to a crash. Today's sprint was won by Quick Step's Wouter Weylandt ahead of Graeme Brown (Rabobank)

Team Saxo Bank's young Aussie comet, Richie Porte once again hurdled through crashing riders and road furniture and is now remarkably on second place overall. Porte signed with Team Saxo Bank in the autumn of 2009 and he has entered his first season as a professional taking a stage victory in Tour de Romandie well ahead of the big names of the peloton.

On the rest day, he is second overall in the Giro d'Italia while wearing the white jersey as leader of the young rider classification. For most young riders this situation would cause nervousness but the young Aussie remains calm and sensible:

Team Saxo Bank's Richie Porte...
“Obviously, the first three stages of the Giro have been hectic in every sense of the word. First of all, it has been hectic because of all the crashes and accidents which have caused some of the overall favorites to suffer huge set-backs. Luckily, I have a strong and loyal team around me to keep me out of trouble and I really appreciate their efforts in the front of the field. Thanks to them, I have been on the podium every day to receive the white jersey - something I never would have dreamed possible in my first season as a professional.

"Now, my goal is to keep it. I know it's going to take a lot of hard work and a solid portion of long-lasting luck but I intend to fight for it, just like Andy (Schleck) did a few years back. Tomorrow's team time trial naturally will be crucial but with a powerful combination of young and experienced riders like Nicki (Sřrensen) and Baden (Cooke), I think we have a fair chance of making a good result."

Some of the overall favorites lost so much time that their chance of getting back to the top of the rankings is minimal. Gilberto Simoni (Lampre) lost 7.59 minutes, Bradley Wiggins (Sky) lost 3.59 minutes while Cadel Evans (BMC), Damiano Cunego (Lampre) and Carlos Sastre (Cervelo) lost 46 seconds to Ivan Basso (Liquigas) and Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana).

D.S. Kim Andersen,  "It was another great day for us and the guys are doing tremendously well on these very difficult first stages. Actually, I think they are going to create a solid result on the team time trial the day after tomorrow and perhaps they can even take the leader's jersey. I think Alexandre Vinokourov's strength might actually become a burden for the Astana team on that particular stage as he can rip his teammates to pieces."

"No matter what, the Giro is wide open in spite of all the crashes and mishaps. Twelve consecutive stages including plenty of climbs without a rest day can create massive destruction in the overall rankings and I am looking forward to seeing what Richie (Porte) is capable of in the mountains. He ought to go for the white jersey."
Sports director Kim Andersen leaves the race after today, and will be replaced by Dan Frost.

Team Milram
Team Manager Gerry van Gerwen Satisfied With Giro Start

"Our start in the Giro d'Italia exactly as we would have wished," is how team manager Gerry van Gerwen summed things up on the rest day:

"With the mountain jersey and our passionate, aggressive riding, we have really distinguished ourselves in the Netherlands. Now it is up to us to keep our spirits up and to take the next step forward tomorrow in Italy. Before the Giro we said that we would cause some surprises in the Giro, and we have pulled off the first one with our great start. Now the others will have to keep their eye on us for further surprises."

"That was a chaotic race with many crashes and lots of wind," said Robert Förster after the finish in Middelburg. "Third place is certainly ok. My form is good and there is still room for improvement."

Christian Henn, who along with Italian Vittorio Algeri is serving as Team MILRAM's directeur sportif, was very satisfied. "Three riders in the top ten is a super result. We helped shape the race from the front. You could see that the riders had the right attitude. That has a hectic stage with many crashes. Unfortunately our Thomas Fothen went down. Otherwise our results would have been even better."

"We had the right feel for all the right situations,“ said Linus Gerdemann, who moved up to eighth place overall. „With Robert Förster we had our sprinter up there. We wanted to bring that group to the finish, in order to set up the sprint for Frösi. That worked out very well."

Paul Vos in Maglia Verde
After the first three Giro stages in the Netherlands, MILRAM's Paul Vos wears the green jersey as leader in the mountain ranking. In addition, he also leads the ranking as most aggressive rider and is tied for second place with Tom Stamsnijder (Rabobank) for both the most escape kilometers (189) and in the ranking for intermediate sprints.

Thanks to the very strong performances yesterday, which saw with Robert Förster (3rd), Linus Gerdemann (8th) and Thomas Rohregger (9th) three riders from the German ProTour team in the Top Ten, Team MILRAM won the team ranking for the third stage. Overall the team around captain Gerdemann is in fifth place, 48 seconds behind Saxo Bank. Also, Linus Gerdemann is eighth overall, in good position for the pink jersey as he is only 12 seconds back. Milram climber Thomas Rohregger, 17th at 24 seconds and Markus Fothen, 34th at 1:13 minutes, are also keeping all their chances open.

Ale Jet fights to return to the front of the race after a puncture at 40 km to go. Every attempt to rejoin the bunch was vain and Ale-Jet reached the arrival with a late of 7'59"; Gilberto Simoni also finished in this group.

Lampre-Farnese Vini
Danilo Hondo Emerges With 4th Out of Chaos

 A flat stage today that became full of emotions thanks to the wind and the narrow roads that caused breaks in the bunch and some crashes that involved top riders too (for instance Wiggins).

Lampre-Farnese Vini's cyclists too had to face some of these obstacles: Cunego lost the wheels of the bunch at 75 km to go because of the wind, supported by the team, he chased the peloton reaching it with a large effort, before being stopped by crashed which he wasn't involved in. This caused the loss of some seconds from the front of the race (Damiano crossed the finish line in 39th position at 46" to the winner Weylandt).

The Belgian rider obtained the victory in the final sprint of only 26 cyclists: Hondo was there and he was 4th, behind Brown (2nd) and Forster (3rd).

D.S. Fabrizio Bontempi, on the stage...
"We knew it would have be a tough stage, so we asked to our cyclists to stay together in case of troubles and it's what they did when Damiano had problems. The team performed a good chase but bad luck hit us again immediately with Petacchi's puncture: Marzano was ready to give Alessandro his wheel, since it was impossible to reach them by car because of the narrow streets. The chase was performed with the top effort, but our cyclists were very tired and HTC/Columbia raised the pace of the head of the race."

"When we understood that Petacchi could not join the front of the race, Hondo became our man for the sprint: Danilo gave his best using the everything left, and he obtained a good 4th place".

Alessandro Petacchi was sad...
 "Yesterday I made a mistake, but today, bad luck stopped me. I had puncture in the worst moment and I could not do anything else than try a very difficult chase. I hope that the beginning of bronchitis that is giving me trouble since this morning willsoon be better".

A gritty DamianoCunego limited the damage...
"What a difficult stage. Wind, crashes and big chaos: because of all these troubles and in the situation I found myself during the race, I could have lost 10'. Thanks to the support of the team I could join again the head of the race, even if in the final part of the stage a crash stopped me, even if I wasn't involved".

Garmin/Transitions' Tyler Farrar...
"My goal coming in was to win a stage, so it was great to get it out of the way earlier. Now I can move on to my next goal,” said Farrar. When asked about Sunday’s crash, Farrar said, "That's the way it goes. First few days of a Grand Tour, everyone is nervous and wants to ride in front. There's lots of traffic islands, medians, roundabouts and signs, and (crashing) is one of the unfortunate things to happen. Once we get a few days in, everyone will calm down and it'll be more chill."

Cervélo TestTeam
Carlos Sastre cedes time trapped behind crash

Carlos Sastre (Esp) didn’t crash but ceded time as Cervélo TestTeam endured another day of nerves and crashes in the third stage of the 2010 Giro d’Italia. Sastre lost more valuable seconds for the second day in a row in another unlucky pileup, this time within 10 km of the finish line in Middelburg at the end of fast-paced, nervous and crash-filled race across the wind-blown flats of western Holland.

Sastre avoided falling in the late-stage mishap, but lost contact with the front group as it barreled toward the sprint finish. Sastre gave up 46 seconds and slotted into 43rd in the overall GC at 1:40 back.

Carlos Sastre, bad luck...
“There was a crash in front of me. There was nothing I could do. I didn’t crash but I wasn’t able to stay with the leaders. I’ve done 100 percent for this Giro. I’ve had some bad luck, but the team is really supporting me so I take confidence in that. There are so many mountains ahead of us, anything can happen. I hope the luck comes back my way.”

Alex Sans Vega, sport director, 'not an easy day'
“It was not easy and very dangerous today. Most of the time we were safe, we were in the front, but again, on the last crash, we were split out, so we lost some good seconds against Vinokourov and other guys like Garzelli (Ita) on GC,”

 “It’s a game. Anything can happen. We didn’t crash like yesterday, so that’s the positive thing of the day.”

Other GC favorites also struggled. Stage one-winner Bradley Wiggins (GBr) was involved in the crash that delayed Sastre and lost nearly eight minutes. Christian Vande Velde (USA) crashed out with a broken collarbone.

“These stages are very nervous and when there are more crashes, riders become even more nervous,” said Ińigo Cuesta (Esp), one of Sastre’s most reliable helpers. “The Giro is very long and the final week is when things will be decided. What you want to avoid is losing any chance of victory in these first flat stages.”

Riders will only be happy to board scheduled flights that will carry them from western Belgium to northern Italy. Following Tuesday’s rest day, the Giro resumes with straight and slightly rising 33 km team time trial from Savigliano to Cuneo on Wednesday.

Sans Vega said the team will keep fighting and expects to have a strong performance in the team test against the clock. “It’s a long way to go. We are just starting this Giro and we have yet to arrive in Italy. Then we can forget all this stress, narrow roads and wind. Another race starts once we get to Italy,” he said. “We’re optimistic for the TTT, we have a strong team.”

Stage 2 Sunday

 Lampre-Farnese Vini
Ale-Jet 5th in Sprint Finish

The second stage of Giro d'Italia the team got a 5th place by Petacchi and many crashes for some blue-fucsia riders. Bono, Loosli, Spezialetti and Bono again got involved in some of the several crashes that characterized the race: luckily none of them suffered injuries.

Cunego incurred in a mechanical problem when his gear was hit by another rider and so he had to change bike at 10 km to go: Damiano reached the arrival in a large group with a gap of 37" to the winner Farrar.

Alessandro Petaccchi...
"I made a mistake starting my action so late. Hondo performed a perfect job for me, but I followed too long his wheel, so I exited the last bend not in the head positions and this was an error because I felt that my legs were powerful, in fact I recovered position obtaining the 5th place".

Sport director Fabrizio Bontempi commented after the stage...
"It was a nervous race because of the narrow roads. All these crashes kept away some of our athletes from supporting Petacchi, who anyway found very good help from Hondo".

Cervélo TestTeam’s
Carlos Sastre Caught in Crash Sunday with about 7km to go
It didn’t appear as if Sastre was seriously injured, but he crossed the line 115th and lost 37 seconds as the main pack roared into Utrecht for the final sprint, where American Tyler Farrar darted to victory.

"It's too bad, because I was always in a good position, trying to avoid being involved in all the crashes throughout the day, but in the final, with 7km to go, there was a crash at the front of the peloton in which I was involved. It was a very fast stage, with a lots of intersections, curves and traffic islands, with a ton of dangerous sections where you always had to be at the front," Sastre said. "The team was 100 percent with me, we were able to regain contact with the second group that included (Bradley) Wiggins (GBR), and limit the losses to not lose options for this Giro."

“The team did great work throughout the stage to keep Carlos at the front, but that’s where the crash happened. It was a shame because it wasn’t our fault, it was just bad luck,” said Alex Sans Vega, sports director. “The roads were very dangerous, with a lot of traffic islands, barriers and narrow roads. It was the worse place to crash because the peloton was setting up the sprint and there was not enough time to regain contact.”

“I have never seen so many crashes on dry roads ever in a race. At least four of our guys crashed today, Gabriel Rasch (NOR), Ted King (USA), Marcel Wyss (SUI) and Daniel Lloyd (GBR),” Sans Vega said. “It’s too bad as well because it will change things in the team GC going into the team time trial. We just have to keep fighting, because there are 19 stages left in this Giro.”

Cervélo’s Daniel Lloyd (GBR) explained that the flat, transition stages dominated by sprinters and breakaway attempts are very stressful for riders like Sastre in the hunt for the maglia rosa.

“These are a very difficult couple of days across Holland. These are very important for the GC riders. They’re so dangerous. You cannot gain much, but here’s always the chance they can lose minutes,” Lloyd said. “These next two stages in Holland are very stressful. A lot can happen. It will be a two long days.”

Lloyd, fresh off racing the spring classics, said the pair of road stages in Holland is critically important for Sastre to limit his losses.

“That's why I am on this Giro team, to help Carlos stay out of trouble. I am ready to do a good job for the team and for Carlos," Lloyd said. "Carlos is very smart. He knows where he needs to be in each stage. It's important to not waste too much energy, stay near the front and stay out of trouble. It's all for Carlos at the Giro, we didn't bring a sprinter because we're supporting Carlos for the final podium.”

Lampre-Farnese Vini on the opening Time Trial
Grey sky, rain and wet roads: these were the characteristics of the 1st stage of Giro d'Italia, 8,4 km in Amsterdam.
Normal performances for Lampre-Farnese Vini's cyclists with Hondo best blue-fucsia: 38th, clock stopped at 10'41".
The first pink jersey was for Wiggins, winner that recorded 10'18" at an average speed of 48,932 km/h.
51st position for Alessandro Petacchi (photo) at 27" to Wiggins, while Cunego is 144th (52" higher than the winner); Simoni completed his performance in 156th place, 56" to the first position; Righi was 92th at 40", Bono 95th at 42", Loosli 112th at 46", Spezialetti 165th and Marzano 167th, both at 58".

"I know I gave my best in a time trial quite good for my characteristics - Hondo explained - My sorrow is that after 2 km, in a bend, my front wheel passed on a metal manhole and slipped: I almost fell, but even if I didn't crash I lost seconds".

Alessandro Petacchi commented his performance using these words: "A time trial that became tougher because of the rain and the cold. With team mechanics I chose an arrangement that could be good for covering in a safe way the wet roads and for pedalling at a good speed: the result was satisfying. Now I'm going to focus my attention on stages that could be good for me"

"Finally the Giro started, it's a pity that the weather was not so good - Simoni commented after the arrival - I didn't want to risk: a crash would not have been a brilliant idea".

Final commented by Cunego: "My performance was how I had thought it could be. I was willing to realize a good time trial, even if I didn't want to risk too much: the starting part was tortuous and wet, so I need to pedal with care".

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