Giro d'Italia (st. 2)
Movistar Team protects Nairo Quintana up-front for whole first Giro road stage in Ireland. Kittel (GIA) claims first mass sprint win; Matthews (OGE) takes over rosa
Without having lost a bit of determination following their complicated team time trial on Friday, the Movistar Team showed themselves ready to assume full responsibility in the 2014 Giro d’Italia during the first road stage: 219km along the coast f Northern Ireland and back to Belfast, always under persistent rain.
The likes of Amador, Malori, Ventoso or Izagirre took always Nairo Quintana into perfect position, very close to the front of a bunch led by Svein Tuft’s Orica-GreenEdge, while, the climbing group -Antón, Herrada, Castroviejo or Capecchi- distributed their energies behind for any need by the Colombian, in the first of two dangerous days of racing before travelling back to Italy.
The predictable sprint finish saw German Marcel Kittel (GIA) victorious ahead of Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) and Nizzolo (TFR), while Michael Matthews (OGE), 8th across the finish, took over the maglia rosa after the three-second split -with no GC candidates involved- between the sprinters and the rest of the field. Nairo Quintana (30th) avoided any incidents into the first part of the bunch.
Sunday will bring the final stage through Ireland, finishing in its capital, Dublin, after 187km where the wind could show up after its absence on day two of this year’s Corsa Rosa.