Owsian, racing his third Giro d’Italia, went on the attack early on stage two, jumping off the front of the peloton after just two kilometers of racing to make it into the day’s eight-rider breakaway.
The front group’s advantage rose quickly as the race headed out of Bologna, and after covering 20 kilometers, of the 205-kilometer course, the gap stood at four minutes and 40 seconds.
Despite two categorized climbs in the final 50 kilometers of the day, the stage was expected to come down to a bunch sprint for the line and, as a result, the peloton did not want to give Owsian and his fellow leaders too much time to play with.
After pushing hard on the Montalbano climb, the Polish rider was one of only four remaining leaders from the early breakaway and, eventually, on the slopes of the ten-kilometer long San Boronto climb, the gap fell to under one minute.
With Owsian and company continuing to push hard at the front of the race, the quartet was able to hold of the peloton until inside seven kilometers to go at which point, the bunch sprint won by Pascal Ackermann (BORA – hansgrohe), was inevitable.
An ill-timed wheel change saw Jakub Mareczko lose contact with the main bunch as it charged towards the finish line and, at the day, despite a crash on the home straight, all eight CCC Team riders crossed the line safely.
Francisco Ventoso was the team’s best-placed rider finishing in the first part of the main bunch. After a solid performance on yesterday’s opening time trial, and crossing the line with the first group today, Víctor de la Parte remains 11th overall on the General Classification.
Quotes From the Finish Line
“I felt good today. In the beginning, it was a little bit hard for my legs but, as the race went on, they felt better and better. I tried to follow the best riders on the first climb and on the second, I tried to attack. After that, there was just three of us left in front and then one guy was able to bridge back across to us. We kept pushing until the end but the peloton was faster today.”
“It was our tactic to be in the breakaway today because you never know what might happen. Maybe Primož Roglič (Team Jumbo-Visma), who has the pink jersey, wants to take the responsibility off his team and lose the jersey and then other teams don’t pull and we can go to the finish but it wasn’t meant to be.”
“I think we will look at the team tactics day by day and think about what we have to do on the stage but, for sure I would like another opportunity. Tomorrow is a better stage for Mareczko and hopefully, if he is motivated for is, we can try to do something.”
Gabriele Missaglia, Sports Director:
“Our strategy was to have someone in the breakaway today and the riders followed the plan and were attacking from the beginning. Łukasz was one of the early attackers and he was able to help form the eight-rider breakaway. It was a good group but behind them, a lot of teams were working to close the gap and force the stage to come down to a bunch sprint.”
“Unfortunately Mareczko was unlucky because he needed a wheel change just before the start of the final climb and, with the pace high at this point, he lost position. Everyone crossed the line safely though and I am happy with the performance of Łukasz. He is a special rider for me, he always gives 100% and we saw him do that today. I hope, for him, that he has more opportunities to do something over the next three weeks.”
Stage 2: Bologna > Fucecchio (205km)
Top 3: 1. Pascal Ackermann (BORA – hansgrohe) 2. Elia Viviani (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) 3. Caleb Ewan (Lotto – Soudal)
CCC Team Top 3: 29. Francisco Ventoso 54. Víctor de la Parte 64. Laurens ten Dam