Giro d'Italia: Chaos in the streets of Holland
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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Giro d'Italia: Chaos in the streets of Holland

by VeloNation Press at 3:09 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia

Tyler FarrarThe narrow roads and traffic furniture in Holland took their toll on the peloton during stage two of the Giro d’Italia today causing several riders to hit the deck.  Chief among the victims were yesterday’s stage winner Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) and Italian national champion Filippo Pozzato (Katusha).  Eventual stage winner Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Transitions) also hit the pavement, but his team worked well to bring him back to the front and kept him out of trouble on the run-in to the finish.

Wiggins was caught behind a crash that happened with around 6 kilometers remaining in the stage, and it cost him a chance to hold onto the maglia rosa for another day.  World champion Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) was able to capitalize on the Briton’s misfortune, and traded in his rainbow stripes to wear pink for the second time in his career.  However, it wasn’t all good news for the Australian, since his teammate Martin Kohler had to abandon following a crash 40 kilometers from the finish.

Filippo PozzatoThe hardest hit today of possible stage winners was Pozzato, who went down hard in the closing kilometers and was in clear pain as he mounted his bike and slowly labored to the finish.  The Italian is one of the leaders of the Katusha team, and is looking to get back on track in his home Tour after a spring Classics campaign that was derailed by illness.  While he wasn’t expected to feature in today’s stage finish, it is unknown as to whether the crash will hurt his chances for success towards the end of the week.

Cervelo TestTeam’s leader Carlos Sastre lost 34 seconds to the other race favorites, which make him the biggest loser on time in the overall competition.

The Giro d’Italia organizers have been criticized recently for not taking enough care to ensure their stage routes are safe for the peloton.  Last year’s “Milan Show” stage took the race on a circuit through the streets of the city, but the riders protested the conditions and neutralized the race until the final sprint.  It will be interesting to see if the tomorrow’s stage, which is nearly identical to today, will elicit a similar reaction from the peloton.

In other news, the volcanic eruption in Iceland last month has grounded flights in northern Italy.  Organizers are already in hot water with International Cycling Union (UCI) for trying to bring the start of the Grand Tour to the United States.  "Bringing in extreme events brings more publicity for the sport, but he [Zomegnan] goes a little too far in creating a spectacle and he neglects the sporting element and the safety of the riders," UCI President Pat McQuaid said of the possible US start earlier this year.  If the riders are forced to take buses from The Netherlands to Italy, the eventuality of a race start in Washington DC could be in jeopardy.


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