Giro d'Italia (st. 1)
Ecuadorian limits losses, finishes 47″ behind Roglic (TJV) -virtual Maglia Rosa- and just within 30″ from López (AST), Dumoulin (SUN), Yates (MTS); Basque climber concedes more than a minute from pink at demanding San Luca climb.
A peculiar inaugural time trial, due to both its route and how it unfolded. The 8km ITT that opened the 2019 Giro d’Italia in Bologna, featuring a flat start plus a grueling 2km uphill (10% avg.) to the San Luca sanctuary– witnessed a carousel of early starts by GC contenders into the first slots of the start sheet, looking to avoid a late stormy forecast which ultimately didn’t materialise.
In those conditions, Mikel Landa and Richard Carapaz -the Movistar Team’s two main GC references for this year’s ‘Corsa Rosa’- offered diverse results. The Basque, just over 14 minutes at the finish line, was 1’07” slower than the virtual Maglia Rosa of the race, Primoz Roglic (TJV), whose 12’54” was good to put a very significant gap over most overall contenders.
Landa’s result was later improved by Richard Carapaz (13’41”), just 19″ behind Miguel Ángel López (AST) and Tom Dumoulin (SUN), 24″ after Vincenzo Nibali (TBM), 28″ behind Simon Yates (MTS) and 47″ in arrears of Roglic. A decent performance from the Carchi native, who, together with Landa and the rest of the Blues, will tackle a rolling stage two on Sunday, 205km towards Fucecchio in Tuscany.
Richard Carapaz: “I’m quite happy with this result. I think I made a good approach to this Giro during the opening months of the season and also the pre-season itself, and it started to pay off here. I didn’t hope to be so close to some contenders, though – it shows that the job we did was right, and the results just came. Our team leader remains Mikel Landa, and I’ll respect that. Let’s see how we can do in this race; it’s still 20 stages to go, there’s so much to fight and hope for.”
Mikel Landa: “It’s been a difficult day. I didn’t start this race as I wanted to. I didn’t feel great in the late part of the climb; it was a bit too long for my condition today. I should have done better. Things like that can happen into a prologue, though; this race has only started today, we’ve got 20 days to make up for this. Let’s go day-by-day. We’ll have to be even more aggressive, try and find a place to recover at every stage. Roglic? Well, seeing him putting such gaps on Nibali or Dumoulin shows he’s in really great form.”
Cover picture (c): BettiniPhoto