Blazin' Saddles

Red-hot Dutch carnage

Blazin' Saddles

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Riddled with as many crashes as last year's international stock markets, stage two of the Giro required more bandages than an Egyptian mummy conference.

New pink jersey Cadel Evans labelled it "one of the most ridiculously dangerous stages I've seen in my career", and said he won the maglia rosa "for best crash avoidance".

With bodies strewn along the verges as if they were victims of a bloody battle, this was more like a Ridley Scott-Russell Crowe film version of the Giro. At one point, the pile of riders was so dense that their bikes were welded together.

The thing is, if you have overly thin roads with unmarked traffic furniture either side (or in the middle) at regular intervals while 200 riders are all vying to get to the front in a vain bid to keep out of trouble, then you're going to get a fair load of high-speed spills.

Presumably this is why there is no Tour of the Netherlands - no one would finish the race. As Eyebrows Evans said, these Dutch stages are basically in the Classics mould and can cause utter carnage when tackled by a nervous Grand Tour field. And we've got it all to look forward to again in July for the Tour.

One rider to hit the deck heavily after failing to spot a bump in the road was Tyler Farrar, the American clearly having forgotten to wear those Transitions lenses he sponsors so tirelessly.

But Farrar avoided the crucial pile-ups which ripped the pink shirt from Bradley Wiggins's back and won the stage with conviction to open up his Giro account. It was nice to see Columbia's Matt Goss take second, proving there's life after Bros.

Elsewhere, Saddles was initially shocked to read the headline 'Thor Hushovd breaks collarbone after hitting girl'. Obviously, this was no Stan Collymore moment for the Cervelo ace, but a freak training accident with a passer-by which would certainly have pricked up the ears of green jersey rival Mark Cavendish.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Sitting here eating my Jake's granola in SB and damn glad I wasn't riding stage 2 of the Giro today. Wow. Hope everyone is alright. Congrats Tyler!" Lance Armstrong continues his tough training schedule ahead of the Tour.

Follow Blazin' Saddles throughout the Giro on www.twitter.com/saddleblaze.

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