back to the overview
Press Releases | 09.05.2021

Peter Sagan takes fifth on Giro d’Italia stage 2 as finale’s tricky twists and turns test the sprinters

The 2021 Giro d’Italia hit the streets of Stupingi for the race’s first road stage. Making its way east for the predicted sprint finish in Novara 179km later, the roads were almost completely flat the entire day, with just one fourth category climb for the riders to contend with. Eager to make their mark on the race, three Italian riders made the jump the second the flag dropped to start the stage, quickly building an advantage that topped out at 4:20. The peloton was confident in being able to make the catch, with the flat roads making it easy to bring the escapees in, and even 120km from the finish line, it was clear that with BORA-hansgrohe on the front, the time gap was going to drop quickly. This advantage fell to 1:30 with 50km remaining and it continued to drop steadily as the peloton came closer to Novara. Again with BORA-hansgrohe on the front, the remnants of the break were caught with 27km to go, and from here it was all about preparing for the sprint finale, with Cesare Benedetti holding the peloton at bay to make sure no late attacks went out. The pace picked up as the finish grew closer, with some long sweeping turns ready to catch riders out of position, as the nervousness at the first road finale of the Giro became apparent. Holding position with Maciej Bodnar and Daniel Oss to protect him, Peter Sagan was staying safe several riders back as the bunch made its way around the final tight turns before the finish, the finishing straight only 150m from the line. Riding the wheels, Peter sprinted hard, picking off places as he went, but with no room to pass on the inside line on the final bend, it just wasn’t enough and the Slovak rider had to settle for fifth place. 

 

Results 

01        T.Merlier                    4h21’09” 

02        G.Nizzolo                    + 0:00 

03        E.Viviani                     + 0:00 

... 

05        P.Sagan                       + 0:00 

 

From the Finish Line 

"The stage was quite straightforward and it played out the way we were expecting, with a fast sprint finish. Up to the last kilometres, it was easy but in the finale, you had to be really focused as it could be messy. It was important to stay safe and avoid any crashes. I think the result reflects the field of sprinters in this Giro. I'd like to thank again my teammates for their work all day, I felt that my condition is getting better." – Peter Sagan 

"It was our first road stage of the Giro and a very easy one because the important action didn't take place before the final 30 kilometres. We had three riders in the front but it wasn't the ideal situation for us because for Peter we would need a harder stage to fight the sprinters. However, we raced with the sprint as our goal. We controlled in order to allow only a small breakaway group to form. Cesare worked in the front in the final 70 kilometres and Maciej with Daniel took over for the leadout. The sprint was quite messy and I think that having a bit of luck was also important. Peter took fifth, an OK result but we'll keep fighting tomorrow." – Jan Valach, Sports Director

articles you might be also interested in:

BORA - hansgrohe retains Jordi Meeus for the long term
Changes at BORA - hansgrohe: Peter Sagan and Pascal Ackermann to leave the team at the end of the season
Konrad, Schelling and Fabbro extend contracts with BORA - hansgrohe
Tour de Wallonie concludes with Rudi Selig’s second place in the sprint finale