Postlberger claims Giro stage-one win on dream Grand Tour debut

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Lukas Postlberger timed a late surge to perfection to claim a surprise victory in the first stage of the Giro d'Italia in his maiden appearance at a Grand Tour event.

A minute's silence was held before the race in memory of Michele Scarponi, the Astana rider who tragically died after being hit by a van while out training last month.

An early escape formed of Postlberger's Bora-Hansgrohe team-mate Cesare Benedetti, Mirco Maestri (Bardiani-CSF), Marcin Bialoblocki (CCC Sprandi Polkowice), Pavel Brutt (Gazprom-Rusvelo), Daniel Teklehaimanot (Dimension Data) and Eugert Zhupa (Wilier Selle Italia) stayed almost completely intact until the closing stages.

However, they were swept up with 3.5 kilometres remaining of the opening 206km route from Alghero to Olbia in Sardinia.

It looked set to be a chaotic sprint to the finish, but Postlberger was not overawed by the occasion and took control with a kilometre left.

And his breakaway proved to be a decisive one, the Austrian able to cruise to the line with his arms aloft as he claimed the maglia rosa.


GOOD DAY/BAD DAY

Benedetti captured the King of the Mountains jersey after the first stage. The Bora-Hansgrohe rider reaching the summit of the Multeddu and the Trinita d'Agultu first before clinching the blue jersey on the San Pantaleo.

But there was misfortune for two-time world team time-trial champion Silvan Dillier, who was caught up in a crash in the final three kilometres.

 
STAGE RESULTS

1. Lukas Postlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe): 5:13:35
2. Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott): +0:00:00
3. Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal): +0:00:00
4. Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo): +0:00:00
5. Sacha Modolo (UAE Team Emirates): +0:00:00
 
GENERAL CLASSIFICATION
 
1. Lukas Postlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe): 5:13:25
2. Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott): +0:00:04
3. Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal): +0:00:06
 
POINTS CLASSIFICATION

1. Lukas Postlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe): 50pts
2. Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott): 35pts
3. Daniel Teklehaimanot (Dimension Data): 32pts
 
KING OF THE MOUNTAINS
 
1. Cesare Benedetti (Bora-Hansgrohe): 9pts
2. Eugert Zhupa (Wilier Triestina - Selle Italia): 4pts
3. Daniel Teklehaimanot (Dimension Data): 3pts
 
BEST YOUNG RIDER
 
1. Lukas Postlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe): 5:13:25
2. Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott): +0:00:04
3. Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafred): +0:00:10
 
UP NEXT...
 
The Giro continues through Sardinia with a 208km medium mountain stage from Olbia to Tortoli. It features three long climbs, with two categorised and one non-categorised, before a flat finish brings an end to Saturday's second stage.