It was a flat tire at a bad moment for Team KATUSHA ALPECIN’S Ilnur Zakarin on Saturday’s stage 2 in the 100th Giro d’Italia. With the peloton in full flight and headed for the finish line, Zakarin’s mechanical called his teammates into action to bring their leader back into the fold.
“On the downhill when everyone was riding super fast, gaps started opening up and the second group was one minute behind. With more or less 7km to go he had a flat tire when he was with the first group. He was on the flat part when he had the flat tire and received a new bike from Maxim Belkov. All of the team stopped for him and they did a team time trial to get him back into the race. The team started working together with 7km to go with a gap of 40 seconds. In 5km they closed this gap. In the end he lost 20 seconds because of the splits created in the sprint lead outs, but it’s important to make note what the team did in those 5 kilometers, especially when you consider the work from the teams of the sprinters in the front group and the speed at which they were going. Without the solid work from the team, Zakarin could easily have lost over one minute. It’s a good indication of the strong condition of our guys,” said General Manager José Azevedo.
At 221km, the stage began in Olbia and ended in Tortoli with a sprint finish won by André Greipel of Lotto Soudal on a time of 6:05:18 (36.28=99km/h), earning him the leader’s maglia rosa by 4-seconds to yesterday’s winner Lukas Pöstlberger. Second and third on the stage were Roberto Ferrari (UAE Team Emirates) and Jasper Stuyven of Trek-Segafredo.
There are plenty of stages and kilometers still to race in the Italian tour. Stage 3 on Sunday begins in Tortoli and ends in Cagliari at 148km.
Photo credit © Tim De Waele