Giro d'Italia - Farrar wins stage as Evans takes pink

Reuters - Mon, 10 May 10:13:00 2010

American Tyler Farrar picked his way through a scene of chaos to win the second stage of the Giro d'Italia in Utrecht.

- 0

Riders were crashing left, right and centre on the 210km stage from Amsterdam with traffic islands in the middle of the roads appearing to cause many of the problems.

First stage winner Bradley Wiggins was involved in one of the biggest mass pileups and although he restarted quickly, his pink leader's jersey now hangs on the shoulders of Australian world champion Cadel Evans.

The decision to hold the first three stages of this year's Giro in the bike-mad Netherlands looked to have been a good one after a captivating opening time trial in Amsterdam on Saturday but organisers will now be scratching their heads.

Dutch traffic islands are only a minor problem in comparison with the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud which shut northern Italian airports on Sunday.

The peleton is meant to be flying to Italy after the third stage from Amsterdam to Middelburg on Monday to continue the three-week race on home soil but flights may not be possible.

Luxury buses have been put on standby to drive the Giro back to Italy but a very long trip on the road during Tuesday's supposed rest day will not do the riders any good.

Some competitors were already feeling queasy on Sunday with Filippo Pozzato among those most hurt by the myriad of crashes.

He managed to restart but will now go for checks.

Garmin's Farrar took the stage in four hours 56 minutes and 46 seconds, the same time as Columbia's Matthew Goss from Australia and Italy's Fabio Sabatini in third.

Overall BMC's Evans holds a one-second lead over Farrar with Astana's Alexandre Vinokourov, back on the Giro after a doping ban, three seconds off the leader in third.

Before traffic islands and island volcanoes came to the party, the Giro was already reeling from several pullouts because of doping probes.

Top riders Alberto Contador and Lance Armstrong have also snubbed the Giro to concentrate on July's Tour de France.


Not already a Yahoo! user ? to get a free Yahoo! Account