Farrar wins first sprint stage of Giro. Cavendish thrilled.

Farrar. I love Italy in the Netherlands.

There are two sprinters thrilled with the results of stage 2 in the Giro d’Italia. One wasn’t even in the race.

First, Tyler Farrar was excited to get his first Giro win in Utrecht. The battling buddhist had a perfect leadout, hit the thrusters and nobody, not Matthew Goss (Team HTC-Columbia) or Fabio Sabatini (Liquigas-Doimo) could come round him. Second and third scraps for them and no kisses.

“Its fantastic to have won,” said Farrar. “It’s certainly one of the special ones. Last year was a breakthrough year winning what I did. It feels good to be where I am this year. To win the first sprint is nice. It takes some pressure off the rest of the race.”

The man with the pressure building fast is the man with the monster thighs and the cold, Andre Greipel. The Rostock Rocket could manage nothing better than fourth place in the first sprint in the Giro. And he’s not feeling very good about that — so you can add depression to the cold symptoms.

Which brings us to the second ecstatic sprinter, Mark Cavendish. The Manxman and Greipel have been openly feuding the last two months with Cavendish claiming the German would never win a big race. Today’s race results must have brought a smile to Mark’s face as he prepares to battle Tom Boonen in the Tour of California next week.

Greipel has to come away with a two stage wins and there aren’t that many opportunities in this hardcore mountain-heavy Giro. Farrar snatched the first one so Greipel better recover quickly or face the sound-bite wrath of the Manxman. HTC-Columbia may have a ball gag on Cavendish but he can’t resist a jab if Greipel fails to deliver. If fact, with Twisted Spoke covering the race live and in person, maybe we’ll witness the volcano.

Tyler Farrar is already enjoying the Cav-free Giro with the Manxman several thousand miles away. Andre Griepel — “not so much,” to use the current hot expression. Something tells us argyle genius Jonathan Vaughters will have plenty to tweet about for the next three weeks. There’s a new train in town and it ain’t white and yellow.

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