4 May 2013

Giro d'Italia Stage 2 Ischia to Forio

So stage one yesterday eventually came down to a sprint after Cannondale's Australia rider Cameron Wurf, who has been the lone survivor of a seven man breakaway. Wurf took part in the 2004 Olympics but on the rowing lake in the lightweight double skull. However it wasn't the total mass sprint finish that everyone was expecting after the work largely of Omega Pharma-Quickstep to bring it all under control with just over two laps of the 8km smaller circuit to complete.

After a while Sky took over the pace setting not for a sprinter but to keep Bradley Wiggins safe near the front, then it was the turn of Orega-GreenEDGE to take it up inside the final 10km, with Cannondale and Radioshack-Leopard also in close attendance. But with 5km to go Omega Phrama-Quickstep for so long at the head of the peleton had disappeared from proceedings.

Inside the final three km and Cannondale had taken up the pace, but then there was a crash near the frong from which only 13 riders rode clear unscathed or delayed. Orega-GreenEDGE with three men in the group including their sprinter Matthew Goss, Omega Pharma-Quick had one rider, Gert Steegmans, there to help Mark Cavendish, but there was also Cannondale's sprinter Elia Viviani, Radioshack's Giacomo Nizzolo,. Moviestar's Francisco Ventoso and two young spinters FDJ's Nacer Bouhanni and BMC's Brit Adam Blythe.

Into the final km it was Orega-GreenEDGE who were attempting to open it up for Goss, but Steegmans suffered a mechanical just as that point as the three Orega-GreenEDGE riders and Viviani gained daylight.  He came back unto fifth wheel with Bouhanni and Blythe had a little bit of shoulder banging as they both tried to stay in Cav's wheel. Then Radioshack's Danilo Hondo brought Nizzolo up alongside so Cavendish went wide to the left, only for Hondo to peel off almost into Cavendish's way. Goss and Viviani were heading straightest to the line, while Bouhanni was on Cav's wheel. But the engine was ignited in the Manx Missile and he crossed the line for his eleventh stage win in the Giro and to pull on the Maglia Rosa for a third time. He was followed by Viviani then Bouhanni.

Cav taking the line and the Maglia Rosa in Napoli

After racing around the streets of Napoli (Naples) today the Giro tomorrow heads out past the Bay of Naples to the volcanic island to Ischia in the Tyrrherian Sea, the largest of the Phlegrean islands.

The island is small but big enough to run a 17.4km team time trial. It is only a short time trial but in the team time trial you are only as good as your fifth best man, so any crashes or a deterioration in the weather for the later starters can be a disaster.

However, Sky are one of the best drilled team when it comes to TTT, but so are Omega Pharma-Quickstep indeed don't forget last year in TTT that Cavendish often took pride in doing good stints on the front especially toward the end, so it is possible with his 8 second lead thanks to the time bonuses that Cavendish might still be in pink when the team pack up to leave the island after the day's racing.

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