Lukas Postlberger wins opening Giro stage in dream debut

Jonathan Hernandez
May 7, 2017

The Astana team, which Scarponi would have led at this race, was on the front line of the bunch for the very first part of the course.

"Both days we have had a pretty solid head wind and also the roads here are quite dead so I think it's a combination of those two things that is making the racing slow".

With two categorised climbs in an undulating 221 km stage to negotiate, an early breakaway was allowed to pull clear of the peloton and by the end of the day it paid dividends for Daniel Teklehaimmanot, of Dimension Data. An apparent chain slip then made any chance of a comeback impossible.

He was followed across the line by Italy's Roberto Ferrari and Belgium's Jasper Stuyven, with Colombia's Fernando Gaviria coming fourth.

But after a sharp right-hand bend caused chaos in the final kilometres, 25-year-old Postlberger surged clear, held off a desperate chasing pack and soloed over the line in triumph to claim the first pink jersey of an edition that is expected to come down to a duel between 2016 champion Vincenzo Nibali and 2014 victor Nairo Quintana.

Timing his acceleration to perfection, the Dimension Data rider dropped feisty co-escapee Shalunov before holding the returning peloton at bay to take the points over the summit that saw him move into the lead in the king of the mountains competition.

Greipel now has 22 victories from Grand Tours including 11 from the Tour de France and four from the Tour of Spain. Not a bad day at the office for the rangy 28-year-old climber...

"It's a surprise! I knew my shape was good", said Postlberger.

Giro d'Italia General classification after Stage 1: 1. "Andre Greipel (Germany / Lotto) +6" 4. Even the riders looked to be checking their messages on their mobile phones.

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