Giro d’Italia stages 1-3: Phinney Holds Early Lead, Cavendish Takes a Stage and a Tumble
2012 Giro d’Italia – Stage 1 – Herning/Herning, 8.7km Individual Time Trial
Taylor Phinney had clearly revised properly before the opening examination; memorising each of the 17 bends of the 8.7km TT course to perfection in the opening stage of the 2012 Giro d’Italia, which started in the Danish town of Herning.
The 21-year-old American took the first maglia rosa of this year’s race for BMC Racing, clocking a time of 10 minutes, 26 seconds. Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas, was 9 seconds back in second, with Garmin Barracuda’s Alex Rasmussen, although cheered on by big crowds in his home country, the charismatic Dane only managed to finish third.
The cocky American, a former world champion in the individual pursuit, had said that he knew the course so well he could do it with his eyes closed, and it was on the second section of the course that he cranked through the gears to increase his winning margin.
Other favorites such as Frank Schleck and Michele Scarponi suffered in the TT and lost time to their overall rivals. Schleck posted a time of 11 hours, 32 minutes, 59 seconds off the overall lead. Michele Scarponi struggled with the course, finishing with a time of 11 hours, 32 minutes and is now over a minute behind Taylor Phinney and a further 30 seconds behind Roman Kreuziger.
Stage 2 – Herning/Herning, 206km Road Stage
World champion Mark Cavendish won the second stage of the Giro d’Italia in a sprint finish. Taylor Phinney kept the pink jersey on his shoulders; finishing fourth, despite suffering a broken bike chain during the stage.
Cavendish won his eighth stage victory in the Giro, this time led out by Welsh teammate Geraint Thomas in the 128-mile loop, which started and finished in Herning.
The Manx Missile had too much in his pedals for Matt Goss, finishing in 4 hours, 53 minutes, 12 seconds. Geoffrey Soupe was third.
Alfredo Balloni, Oliver Kaisen and Miguel Angel Rubiano made a confident (foolish) early break, with only 10 miles of tarmac behind them. The unsuccessful trio was caught with 25 miles to go, they were duly swallowed up and spat out by the charging peloton.
Stage 3 – Horsens/Horsens 190km Road Stage
Orica-Green Edge rider Matthew Goss took his team’s first Grand Tour win of the season, claiming stage 3 after luckily escaping a horror crash that took down World Champion Mark Cavendish (Sky Procycling) and overall race leader Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing Team). Juan Jose Haedo (Saxo Bank) pedalled his way to second in the sprint as Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Barracuda) completed the podium places.
Stage 3 featured yet another breakaway as expected in this wonderful race. The six man group of: Reto Hollenstein (Team NetApp), Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Barracuda), Martijn Keizer (Vacansoleil-DCM), Alfredo Balloni (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia), Mads Christensen (Saxo Bank) and Miguel Minguez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) attempted to escape from the peloton, but with BMC Racing Team controlling the pace, the gap never increased beyond three minutes.
In the final sprint to the finish line, Roberto Ferrari (Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela) made a move to the right without looking, this caused chaos in the peloton. The move hit Mark Cavendish’s front wheel, causing several riders and several thousands of pounds of carbon to hit the tarmac.
Overall leader Phinney crashed hard; however, the young American did make his podium appearance to collect his third pink jersey.
General Classification after Stage 3
1 PHINNEY, Taylor (BMC RACING) 9:24:31
2 THOMAS, Geraint (SKY PROCYCLING) + 0:09
3 RASMUSSEN, Alex (GARMIN-BARRACUDA) + 0:13
4 BOARO, Manuele (SAXO BANK) + 0:15
5 NAVARDAUSKAS, Ramunas (GARMIN-BARRACUDA) + 0:18
6 LARSSON, Gustav (VACANSOLEIL-DCM) + 0:22
7 LANCASTER, Brett (ORICA-GREENEDGE) + 0:23
8 GOSS, Matthew Harley (ORICA-GREENEDGE)
9 PINOTTI, Marco (BMC RACING) + 0:24
10 SERGENT, Jesse (RADIOSHACK-NISSAN) + 0:26