- - Giro d'Italia 2024 Stage 1

Giro d’Italia 2024 Stage 1

photo credits @ Gazzetta Dello Sport

After several attacks in the finale, Jhonatan Narváez claimed the opening stage of the Giro d’Italia, taking the overall lead and the first Maglia Rosa of the race. The Ineos Grenadiers rider went clear with Maximilian Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) on an uncategorized climb with around 3.5km to go and outsprinted both of them in the final few hundred meters to take the win.

This marks the Ecuadorian’s second stage victory of his career at the Giro d’Italia, as he won solo in cold and wet conditions on stage 12 to Cesenatico in 2020. However, today’s stage was a much different affair, as the riders stayed dry throughout the day and Narváez was able to use his quick turn of speed in the sprint.

Pogačarstormed up the road on the day’s final climb after his UAE Team Emirates colleagues had already put some of the GC contenders – such as Romain Bardet – in trouble earlier in the day.

The Slovenian rider pushed his troops to the front in the final 30km on the category two Colle Maddalena climb and they splintered the peloton, dropping Bardet and Narvaez’s Ineos team-mate Thymen Arensmen who had seemed a dark horse for overall Giro victory.

However, only Rafal Majka survived over the top alongside Pogacar for UAE Team Emirates meaning they lost control at the front, allowing a seven-man group including Bora-Hansgrohe’s Max Schachmann to get off the front ahead of the final steep, uncategorized climb of the race.

Pogačar predictably went hell-for-leather on the final climb, just 1.4km but at an average gradient of 9.8%, and only Narvaez could hold on with Schachmann also catching up on the descent to form a three-way battle for victory in the final kilometer.

The heavy race favorite led out the sprint and opened up with 200m to go, initially putting a gap into his rivals, but they fought back with Narvaez overcoming Pogačar in the final meters and Schachmann taking second in a photo-finish.

Race Highlights 

Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier (Lidl-Trek) and Lilian Calmejane (Intermarche-Wanty) were the only survivors of a six-man breakaway that had seen VF Group-Bardiani CSF-Faizane’s Filippo Fiorelli shine at the early checkpoints.

The pair were both chasing the king of the mountains jersey on the decisive slopes of the Colle Maddalena with a 90-second advantage ahead of the peloton and Calmejane dropped his rival early to set up a time trial against UAE’s brutal pace behind to the top.

He submitted just seconds ahead of the main bunch but that was enough to earn him the maglia azzurra for Stage 2, before Schachmann’s group broke away at the front when UAE finally eased the pace.

Bardet and Arensman had both carried promising form into the Giro and were major shocks to drop behind the peloton, eventually trailing home 0:57 and 2:17 behind Narvaez, respectively.

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