2012 Giro d'Italia - Stage 2 - Herning/Herning, 206km Road Stage
Mark Cavendish (Sky Procycling) won stage 2 of the 2012 edition of the Giro d'Italia to claim his 8th victory at Italian Grand Tour of his career. The World Champion avoided a final corner crash that left only the best sprinters at the front of the race to out sprint former teammate Matthew Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) and Geoffrey Soupe of FDJ-Big Mat.
Overnight race leader Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing Team) will remain in the pink leader's jersey going into stage 3, but the 21 year old American struggled late in the race to maintain the overall lead. The BMC rider dropped his chain just eight kilometers from the finish, after closing down a thirty second gap with help from teammates, Phinney rejoined the peloton and kept control of the lead.
A three man breakaway kicked off the 2nd stage of the Giro with Olivier Kaisen (Lotto Belisol), Alfredo Balloni (Farnese Vini) and Miguel Rubiano (Androni Giacattoli-Venezuela) representing their team colors at the front of the race. The trio built themselves a gigantic lead at the front of the race, which topped off at 13 minutes, 15 seconds with 145 kilometers left to race.
Sky Procycling, Orica GreenEdge and Rabobank all shared chasing duties at the front of the peloton as they thought of bringing back the break and setting their sprinters up for the win. BMC Racing Team stayed relatively near the front of the peloton, protecting Taylor Phinney for most of the day.
With approximately sixty kilometers remaining in the first road stage of the Giro d'Italia, the breakaway's gap had dropped from over 13 minutes to just 2 minutes. Sky continued to lead the chase in hopes of setting up World Champion Mark Cavendish for the win and with just 40km remaining the the group of three was caught by the peloton.
Also immediately after catching the three escapees the next attack came out of the peloton. Lars Bak of Lotto Belisol attacked solo he quickly built a gap of nearly 45 seconds before the peloton brought the gap back down to around 30 seconds with just 30km to go. With under 20 kilometers left to go the Dane was caught by the peloton as they began to speed up towards the finish line.
In the final corner of the stage, turning into the final 500 meters, Theo Bos of Rabobank lost control of his front wheel, flying into Katusha's Alexander Kristoff, making a split in the peloton. After the crash only the top sprinters remained at the head of the race. Thor Hushovd (BMC Racing) opened his sprint, but couldn't keep the high speed to overcome the power of Matt Goss and Mark Cavendish as they roared towards the finish line.
After Mark Cavendish and other top sprinters crossed the finish line, Alexander Kristoff was seen getting up off the group and later back on his bike riding across the finish line with blood dripping down the side of his face.
Stage 3 Preview: Horsens/Horsens 190 kilometers, flat stage. Stage 3 keeps the Giro d'Italia in Denmark, however not in Herning where stages 1 & 2 take place, but Horsens. Similar to stage 2, the map profile shows a mostly flat stage which will give the sprinters yet another chance to show their talent in the Giro d'Italia.
REST DAY - May 8th
Stage 4 Preview: Verona/Verona 32.2 kilometers, Team Time Trial. Stage 4 takes the 198 rider peloton out of Denmark and into Verona, Italy. After two road stages the Giro returns to the Team Time Trial. The stage profile shows a mostly flat stage with a hill near mid course.
Stage 2 Results
1 Mark CAVENDISH GBR SKY 4:53:12
2 Matthew Harley GOSS AUS OGE +0
3 Geoffrey SOUPE FRA FDJ +0
4 Tyler FARRAR USA GRM +0
5 Roberto FERRARI ITA AND +0
6 Mark RENSHAW AUS RAB +0
7 Thor HUSHOVD NOR BMC +0
8 Daniele BENNATI ITA RNT +0
9 William BONNET FRA FDJ +0
10 Geraint THOMAS GBR SKY +0
11 Timon SEUBERT GER APP +0
12 Mickael DELAGE FRA FDJ +0
13 Robert HUNTER RSA GRM +0
14 Matthias BRANDLE AUT APP +0
15 Daryl IMPEY RSA OGE +0
General Classification After Stage 2
1 Taylor PHINNEY USA BMC 5:03:38
2 Geraint THOMAS GBR SKY +9
3 Alex RASMUSSEN DEN GRM +13
4 Manuele BOARO ITA SAX +15
5 Gustav LARSSON SWE VCD +22
6 Ramunas NAVARDAUSKAS LTU GRM +22
7 Brett LANCASTER AUS OGE +23
8 Marco PINOTTI ITA BMC +24
9 Jesse SERGENT NZL RNT +26
10 Nelson Filipe SANTOS SIMOES OLIVEIRA POR RNT +27