Giro d’Italia #2: Teklehaimanot takes King of the Mountains Jersey

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The 2nd stage of the Giro d’Italia ended in a mass sprint where Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) reigned supreme. For Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka, it was yet another fantastic stage as Daniel Teklehaimanot took the lead in the King of the Mountains competition and our two sprinters, Kristian Sbaragli and Ryan Gibbons, finished in the top 10 by placing 5th and 7th respectively.

The 2nd stage of the Giro d’Italia saw the peloton leave Olbia on a 220km journey to Tortoli. With more climbing on the menu today than yesterday, our Eritrean champion, who had missed out on taking the Maglia Azzurra yesterday, set off to claim the King of the Mountains jersey. Teklehaimanot was joined by 4 others to form the main break of the day.

Teklehaimanot showed no signs of fatigue after his efforts on stage 1 and proceeded to win both intermediate sprints and the main category 2 climb of the stage. This saw Teklehaimanot take the lead in the King of the Mountains competitions and pull on the coveted Maglia Azzurra after the stage. After the climb was completed, the break was absorbed back into the peloton with a 50km downhill charge to the finish-line.

Nathan Haas tried an opportunist attack on the descent but the main sprinters teams were having none of it and pulled him back. Our African Team was okay with the situation though as we had Sbaragli and Gibbons, who both sprinted into the top 10 yesterday, waiting in the wings. Orica-Scott led the sprint out with 5km to go with Gibbons on the wheel the Austrailian sprinter Caleb Ewan, Sbaragli following our young South African.

Gibbons did an incredible job in the wind through the final kilometer, moving Sbaragli up into the first 5 positions. The sprint then kicked off with our Italian having to go around Ewan, who had a mechanical issue. Greipel surged ahead to take the win ahead of Roberto Ferrari (UAE Emirates) and Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo). Sbaragli came home in 5th and Gibbons rode his impressive leadout all the way to line, claiming 7th.

Daniel Teklehaimanot – Rider
I want to thank the team for giving me this chance. Yesterday I tried hard in the break but I didn’t get anything, today I won. I think I was a little fortunate as I was getting tired on the last climb and the peloton was coming. I just saved as much energy as I could and then gave it everything just before the top. The climb was important as it had the most points. It’s unbelievable to have taken the jersey in the Tour de France and in this special 100th Giro d’Italia. It is incredible to be on the podium of these grand tours and I am very happy today.