Giro d'Italia Stage 2: Uran & Boonen Top 20 in Nervous Sprint Stage
Etixx - Quick-Step riders Rigoberto Uran and Tom Boonen finished 16th and 18th in the bunch sprint arrival of 177km Stage 2, from Albenga to Genova on Sunday. Though the stage was far from difficult in terms of profile — with only one small Categorized climb in the stage — crashes in the final kilometers caused splits in the peloton, and also Pieter Serry to abandon before the last lap after falling hard.
Elia Viviani (Team Sky) won the stage, with Moreno Hofland (Team LottoNL-Jumbo) placing 2nd and Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) finishing 3rd.
The original five rider escape group built more than a nine minute advantage on the peloton, but all riders were brought back with 11.3km remaining. Crashes already began well before that point. There was also a two lap finishing circuit going into the finishing straight.
More information on Serry will be made available as soon as possible. David De La Cruz was involved in the same crash as Serry, but without consequences.
Etixx - Quick-Step looks next to 136km Stage 3 from Rapallo to Sestri Lavante. The profile is considerably lumpy, with a Category 3 and Category 2 climb in addition to plenty of other up-and-down sections. However, the last categorized climb, Barbagelata (8.7km, 5.2% average gradient), is at 50km to go and then there is a long descent until about 25km from the finish. There is a possibility of a few surprises with those who have eyes on the GC.
"Unfortunately today we have bad news with Serry, who was one of the important guys for the climbs," Uran said. "But he was involved in a crash in the final kilometers in a fall that he couldn't avoid. It's a pity overall for him. The team and I wish him a fast recovery. As for today the final was nervous, but considering everything it was well covered by the team. We will see tomorrow. It is another parcours with a profile that can make things more nervous than today, so we will see."
"I was well placed for the sprint," Boonen said. "At a few hundred meters from the finish a group of riders were pulling on the right side of the road. Suddenly the group moved on the left. I decided to stay on right but unfortunately things got a little chaotic in front of me. A Lampre-Merida almost crashed and I lost the momentum. At that point, on a slight uphill finish, there's no way to contest the sprint. Congrats to Viviani. He did a great sprint."