Giro d'Italia (st. 2)
Cataldo, Pedrero, Samitier, Sepúlveda, Villella all into 560-strong group behind winner Ulissi (UAD) at first hill-top finish. Mountains coming up at Monday’s Etna test.
/ Today’s route
A short route, like every ride through Sicily in this Giro, for the first road stage in this year’s ‘Corsa Rosa’. 149km from Alcamo to Agrigento with four little climbs -only of which is categorized (Santa Ninfa; Cat-4)- in the 50km after the start. Following from there, an easier route towards an uphill finish, around 4km at 5% average.
/ Weather report
Pleasant temperatures in western Sicily, about 25ºC during the race with some crosswinds, yet not as disturbing as the day prior. Fortunately, it won’t be as dangerous as it was on Saturday’s ITT.
/ Keys to the race
- It only took 3km to establish the early break, a five-man group with De Gendt (LTS), Bais (ANS), Gastauer (ALM), Van Empel (THR) y Tonelli (BRD). INEOS Grenadiers, the team holding the Maglia Rosa with Filippo Ganna, took themselves to the front of a bunch which allowed the escapees a maximum gap of five minutes. UAE Team Emirates and Team Sunweb picked up from there in the second half of the race to reduce the gaps.
- The stage would otherwise follow a quite monotonous story before the last climb, which the peloton tackled together after the escapees were caught with 10km to go. The main teams’ pace left only about 60 riders at the main peloton, with Cataldo, Pedrero, Samitier, Sepúlveda and Villella from the Movistar Team.
- Ahead of all of them finished, after some final attacks, a group ahead into the last 1.5km with Wackermann (THR) -eventually caught-, Honoré (DQT, 3rd), Sagan (BOH, 2nd) and morning favourite Diego Ulissi (UAD), who took the day’s honours. They put 5″ on a bunch where Filippo Ganna (IGD) had no problems to keep the Maglia Rosa.
/ Upcoming goals
… And Monday, the 2020 Giro’s first mountain-top finish looms. The riders will climb to the Etna, reaching to the Piano Provenzana (18.8km at 6.6%) at another short (150km) yet intense day. There will be several non-rated climbs to Leonforte (near the start), Nicolosi (14km at 3.5%), Milo or Bivio di Vena before the final climb from Linguaglossa.
Cover picture (c): BettiniPhoto