Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) won the the second stage of the Giro d’Italia ahead of Jakub Mareczko (Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia) and Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe). Ryan Gibbons sprinted to 7th place for Team Dimension Data.
Stage two of the Giro d’Italia was a 167km stage running from Haifa to Tel Aviv, and was a stage ear-marked for the sprinters. An early break of three riders, Davide Ballerini (Androni Giocattoli), Victor Campenaerts (Lotto Fix-all) and Guy Niv (Israel Cycling Academy) animated the early part of the stage with their attack. With BMC Racing pushing hard at the front of the peloton, the break was caught with 77kms of racing still remaining.
Our African Team was doing its best to keep out of harm’s way but unfortunately Jacques Janse van Rensburg was involved in a crash, just as the break was caught. Our South African climber landed painfully on his buttocks but fortunately, he was able to pick himself up and chase back to the peloton without any serious injuries.
Guillaume Boivin (Israel Cycling Academy) then put in a solo attack and he stayed out front for the better part of the last half of the stage. The sprinters teams ensured he was caught with 15km oto go though, as they prepared the leadout for their protected riders.
Ben King and Jaco Venter were on-hand to assist Ryan Gibbons going into the final 10km for us, but the technical final made it difficult to keep position. With the final kms producing some very fast and chaotic racing, our young South African sprinter did well to stay in the mix coming into the last kilometer.
In the end Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) went on to win, with Jakub Mareczko (Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia) placing second and Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) rounding off the podium. Ryan Gibbons sprinted to a strong 7th place.
Rohan Dennis (BMC), after gaining a time bonus in the intermediate sprint, will start tomorrow in the Maglia Rosa.
Ryan Gibbons – Rider
It was good to get started again and good to be in a bunch sprint again. It was the first bunch sprint I’ve actually been part of this year. It’s always a bit of a different feeling in the legs and to have that confidence for a final. The road surface was quite slippery and I lost my nerve a little in the second to last corner, so I was bit too far back. I think I can do better but under the circumstances, to finish 7th is not a bad start but we will definitely be aiming to get better and better in the coming stages.