Giro d'Italia Stage 1: Breaking Down a Thrilling Uphill Finish
Grand Tour season opened with a bang atop an incredibly fast summit finish
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It Started With a Bang
Mathieu van der Poel kicked the Giro d’Italia off to a thrilling start by storming to victory atop a five-kilometer, extremely fast, final climb to take the race’s inaugural Pink Jersey as the GC leader. After four hours of easy pedaling, followed by an unbelievably fast five-kilometer climb, Biniam Girmay, despite his young age (23) and inexperience, was the only rider capable of serving up a real challenge to Van der Poel and came in a close second, with Pello Bilbao capitalizing on a late crash from Caleb Ewan to round out the stage podium.
In the race for the GC, Richard Carapaz took an early victory by finishing inside an elite 8-rider lead group and stole four seconds on the other major contenders Simon Yates and João Almeida. While this Giro will be decided by far more than four seconds, his performance signaled a level of fitness and focus that could allow him to take more time as the first week goes on.