Farrar Wins Stage 2 of Giro; Evans Takes Overall Lead
Tyler Farrar (Garmin) has won Stage 2 of the Giro.
Tyler Farrar (Garmin) has won Stage 2 of the Giro. The American took a bunch sprint to win the flat, 210-km run from Amsterdam to Utrecht in 4:56:46. Matthew Goss (Columbia) outsprinted Fabio Sabatini (Liquigas) for second, and Cadel Evans (BMC) took the maglia rosa from Bradley Wiggins (Sky), who lost time because of one of the stage's many crashes.
The stage was ridden in chilly, windy conditions. At 60 km, Paul Voss (Milram), Rick Flens (Rabobank), Stefano Pirazzi (Colnago), and Mauro Facci (Quick Step) escaped from the peloton. The four led the field by 6:00 at 88 km. Sky paced the peloton, and the gap had fallen to 4:00 at 118 km.
For a time, the break not only held the bunch at bay, but lengthened its lead. With 65 km remaining, Columbia joined Sky at the front, but 10 km later the escapees led the field by 6:00.
With 58 km left, a crash occurred when the riders, who had ridden on a narrow road, jostled for position on a narrower bridge. No one was injured, and the pursuit resumed. Ahead, Facci was dropped. Another crash took down Farrar, who crashed into a traffic island with 55 km left. His teammates paced him back to the bunch.
With 40 km remaining, a 30-rider crash occurred. Wiggins went down, but three teammates paced him back to the peloton. Martin Kohler (BMC) was not as fortunate. The Briton became the first rider to drop out of the 2010 Giro.
Despite the disruptions that the crash caused, the peloton, which was led by Columbia, Sky, and Astana, reduced the break's advantage to 1:20 with 35 km left. Three km later, Voss attacked his companions. Flens countered as the race reached the outskirts of Utrecht, but the peloton swept up the Dutchman with 24 km to go.
The peloton sped along the narrow, twisting Dutch roads until a mass pileup occurred with seven km left. Fifty riders went down, the most seriously injured of whom might have been Filippo Pozzato (Katusha). Doctors had to examine the Italian champion before he could finish the stage.
Columbia, which was riding for Andre Greipel, paced the reduced peloton until the last km, when Garmin took over. Greipel attempted to spoil Garmin's party, but Farrar came off of teammate Julian Dean's wheel with 250 m left to win.
In the overall, Evans leads Farrar by 0:01 and Alexander Vinokourov (Astana) by 0:03. Stage 3 will probably see Evans relinquish the maglia rosa. The pancake flat, 209-km run from Amsterdam to Middelburg is tailor-made for sprinters, and because Evans has already announced that he will not contest the sprints, look for Farrar to take enough seconds to snatch the maglia rosa from Evans, whose priority is the overall victory. Let's hope that the riders stay upright tomorrow. Check in at www.roadcycling.com for news of the stage and the overall and visit our video section for videos from the 2010 Giro d'Italia .