Van der Poel's talent wins the first race of the Giro and takes the pink jersey

Road 6 may. 2022 18:05 Migue A.

Mathieu Van der Poel proved his status as favourite to take victory in the first stage of the Giro d'Italia 2022 by winning in a reduced sprint over Eritrean Binian Girmay at the finish line at Visegrád Castle.

First maglia rosa for Mathieu Van der Poel

When Van der Poel is involved, predictions tend to come true. The Alpecin-Fenix rider had set his sights on taking the first maglia rosa of the race and he did just that in the tense 195-kilometre first stage finish between Budapest and Visegrád in the Hungarian premiere of the 2022 edition of the Giro d'Italia.

The day began calmly with a breakaway made up of two riders: Mattia Bais and Filippo Tagliani, both from Drone Hopper - Androni, who quickly made their way to a gap of more than 10 minutes over a peloton that was feeling sleepy at the thought of having more than 3,400 kilometres to cover over the next few weeks.
Little by little, the stage was picking up the pace of competition thanks to the control of Alpecin-Fenix, Intermarché-Wanty and EF Education-EasyPost, who kept the gap contained and began to decrease slowly but steadily.

First points for the maglia ciclamino classification go to the breakaway riders and Arnaud Démare, who leads the peloton as it passes under the banner to continue closing the gap on the approach to the end of the stage.

The adventure of the two Italians comes to an end, without any last minute surprises, with 14 kilometres to go, where the pace is already unleashed on the approach to the start of the final climb to Visegrád Castle. A sinewy climb but one that the riders tackled at a furious pace with Lotto-Soudal in the lead with Cadel Ewans well placed. Alpecin-Fenix made an extra effort to put Mathieu Van der Poel in the lead from the start.

As usually happens in these finals, those with less chances in the sprint played their cards, first a move by AG2R's Lawrence Naessen 3.5 km from the line, who did not manage more than a dozen seconds, which is countered by a Lennard Kamna (Bora-Hansgrohe) who has been in top form in recent weeks, but who also fails to succeed.

So we reached the last kilometre with a reduced main group due to a snag at the back and a chaotic situation with UAE Team Emirates setting the pace, Pello Bilbao and Caleb Ewan well placed on the wheel and the two favourites for victory, Van der Poel and Girmay, slightly delayed while Arnaud Demaré said enough shortly after crossing the flame rouge.


With a stratospheric last 300m, Girmay took off, overtook the whole group and even opened up a slight gap with a very strong Van der Poel at his side. At the front of the group, only Caleb Ewan managed to react in time, but his over-enthusiasm found Girmay's rear wheel and he went to the ground.

In a fantastic final move, Van der Poel brought out his tremendous class to beat Girmay in the last metres and make the predictions come true. Meanwhile, a few meters behind, a magnificent Pello Bilbao continues to demonstrate his excellent form and finishes in third place.

Classification Stage 1
1. Mathieu Van der Poel (AFC) 4h35’28”
2. Biniam Girmay (IWG) +0″
3. Peio Bilbao Lopez de Armentia (TBV) +0″
4. Magnus Cort Nielsen (EFE) +0″
5. Wilco Kelderman (BOH) +0″
6. Richard Carapaz (IGD) +0″
7. Bauke Mollema (TFS) +0″
8. Diego Ulissi (UAD) +0″
9. Andrea Vendrame (ACT) +4″
10. Mattias Jensen (TFS) +0″


General Classification
1. Mathieu Van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) 4h35’28”
2. Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert)  +4″
3. Pello Bilbao (Bahrain-Victorious) +6″
4. Magnus Cort Nielsen (EF Education-EasyPost) +10″
5. Wilco Kelderman (Bora-hansgrohe) +10″
6. Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) +10″
7. Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) +10″
8. Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) +10″
9. Andrea Vendrame (AG2R Citroën) +14″
10. Mattias Skjelmose Jensen (Trek-Segafredo) +14″

 

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