Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Transitions) won a very messy second stage of the Giro d’Italia on Sunday, outsprinting the remnants of a peloton shattered by a series of crashes in the 210km race from Amsterdam to Utrecht in the Netherlands.
The stage was tailor-made for a bunch sprint, following a relatively flat and twisting route through the small towns and farmland to the southeast of Amsterdam. It featured only two relatively small climbs, the Category 3 Kaapse Bossen at 88.7km and the Cat. 3 Amerongse Bos at 100.5km.
But the final run into Utrecht was a dicey one. The course was squeezed down into one lane of traffic for the final 4-5km, with five turns in the last 4km and a sharp right-hander with 225 meters to go.
Oddly, it was about the only stretch in which someone wasn’t hitting the deck. Farrar, who lay sprawled on a traffic island earlier in the race, kept the rubber side down in the finale to win ahead of Matthew Goss (HTC-Columbia) and Fabio Sabatini (Liquigas).
Two days into the Giro, and another English speaking rider tops the field at the Giro d’Italia. Cadel Evans takes over the maglia rosa from Brad Wiggins; Tyler Farrar takes the sprint leaving him just one second behind Evans; which means that there’s a very good chance that Farrar may wear pink in the next couple of days.
Made the discovery this morning that the Giro is being broadcast live (with encore presentations throughout the day) on Universal Sports (Comcast digital cable channel 113 in Salt Lake City); another indication of the popularity growth of cycling on TV in the United States. Phil and Paul aren’t doing the commentary, but thankfully, neither is Al Trautwig or Craig Hummer.
I know what I’ll be spending a fair amount of time watching over the next 3 weeks.
Now, to head out for a ride … Emigration, I think, depending on legs/lungs when I hit the zoo.