Tyler Farrar Sprints to Stage 2 Win in 2010 Giro d'Italia
Navigating through narrow roads and around highway barriers proved challenging for the field in Sunday's Stage 2, a 209-kilometer ride from Amsterdam to Utrecht Tyler Farrar, who was involved in a crash, surged back and won the stage.
American Tyler Farrar picked his way through a scene of chaos to win the second stage of the Giro d'Italia on Sunday for Team Garmin. Watch 2010 Giro d'Italia video highlights in our videos section at www.roadcycling.com/video.
Riders were crashing left, right and centre on the 210-km stage from Amsterdam to Utrecht with traffic islands in the middle of the roads appearing to cause many of the problems.
First stage winner Bradley Wiggins was involved in one of the biggest mass pileups and although he restarted quickly, his pink leader's jersey now hangs on the shoulders of Australian world champion Cadel Evans.
The decision to hold the first three stages of this year's Giro in the bike-mad Netherlands looked to have been a good one after a captivating opening time trial in Amsterdam on Saturday but organisers will now be scratching their heads.
Dutch traffic islands are only a minor problem in comparison with the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud which shut northern Italian airports on Sunday.
The peleton is meant to be flying to Italy after the third stage from Amsterdam to Middelburg on Monday to continue the three-week race on home soil but flights may not be possible.
Luxury buses have been put on standby to drive the Giro back to Italy but a very long trip on the road during Tuesday's supposed rest day will not do the riders any good.
Some competitors were already feeling queasy on Sunday with Filippo Pozzato among those most hurt by the myriad of crashes.
He managed to restart but will now go for checks.
2010 Giro d'Italia favorite Carlos Sastre (Cervelo TestTeam) was one of the many riders who crashed on the dangerous Dutch roads. "It's too bad, because I was always in a good position, trying to avoid being involved in all the crashes throughout the day, but in the final, with 7km to go, there was a crash at the front of the peloton in which I was involved. It was a very fast stage, with a lots of intersections, curves and traffic islands, with a ton of dangerous sections where you always had to be at the front," Sastre commented.
Sastre added "The team was 100 percent with me, we were able to regain contact with the second group that included (Bradley) Wiggins (GBR), and limit the losses to not lose options for this Giro."
BMC Racing Team's American Brent Bookwalter, who finished second in yesterday's stage 1 of the Giro, used the word "insane" to describe today's stage. "It was so dangerous. A total freak-fest," he stated.
Garmin's Farrar took the stage in four hours 56 minutes and 46 seconds, the same time as Columbia's Matthew Goss from Australia and Italy's Fabio Sabatini in third.
"Part of the game when you're racing in the Netherlands is there's lots of traffic furniture in the road," Farrar said on the Universal Sports broadcast. "Unfortunately I didn't see a median coming, had nowhere to go, clipped it and I went down. My goal coming here was to win a stage, and I got it out of the way early. So now we'll chase a second one."
Overall BMC's Evans holds a one-second lead over Farrar with Astana's Alexandre Vinokourov, back on the Giro after a doping ban, three seconds off the leader in third.
Before traffic islands and island volcanoes came to the party, the Giro was already reeling from several pullouts because of doping probes.
Stay tuned to us here at Roadcycling.com for extensive 2010 Giro d'Italia coverage including video highlights from the race and visit www.universalsports.com/cycling for live video from the Giro.
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