One down, five to go.
Mark Cavendish (Sky) had marked out six stages to win in this Giro d’Italia. Stage 2 out and around Harning was the first on his hit list. To use the cycling-banker cliche, he opened his account, sprayed the champagne and thanked everyone on his team for the good time in Denmark.
“Everybody handled it well and we stayed together as a team,” said Cavendish. “I was really looked after at the finish and kept sheltered. Geraint took me perfect and went exactly when he was supposed to. I was able to come off him and win the stage so I’m very, very happy.
Later on twitter, the Manxman sent a shout out: “Wickedly composed lead out by Geraint Thomas.”
It was wicked fast and Cavendish made it look almost too easy. Thor Hushovd (BMC) went up the left side and got nothing but seventh. Matthew Goss took his best shot and still had trouble even hanging on Cavendish’s wheel in the final 100 meters. Tyler Farrah, who made a point of focusing his truing for the cobbled classics, has lost his turbo gear and was passed for third by Geoffrey Soupe (FDJ -BigMat). Former lead out man Mark Renshaw was lucky to take sixth.
The other big sprint of the day happened 8 kilometers from the finish when Tyler Phinney (BMC) dropped his chain and quickly found himself 30 second back. Teammate Danilo Wyss and Alessandro Ballan went into time trail mode to save his maglia rosa jersey. “I just found myself on the ground, having touched wheels and lost balance,” said Phinney. “Then I couldn’t get my chain back on. So I kind of made a second prologue effort. I was quite scared there for a second that I was going to lose the jersey.”
He keeps his pink jersey and was grateful for his BMC buds. “Dear
@aleballan79 and @danilowyss, THANK YOU from the depths of my heart for helping me chase back on today after the crash. Love you guys,” he wrote on twitter.
It’s the Giro d’Italia so there is plenty of passion and love to go around. Mark Cavendish has got his first stage in the Giro. Five to go.