Tadej Pogačar Hits the Deck, But Still Wins Stage 2 of the Giro d’Italia

107th giro d'italia 2024 stage 2
Tadej Pogačar Hits the Deck, But Still WinsTim de Waele - Getty Images

Tadej Pogačar overcame a puncture and a light crash to win Stage 2 of the Giro d’italia and take the pink leader’s jersey.

With just over 10km to go in the challenging second stage of the Tour of Italy, Pogačar (Team UAE Emirates) briefly hit the ground while rounding a corner after suffering a flat front tire. He was able to get up quickly, receive a replacement bike, and start his chase of the peloton.

“I was quite calm,” Pogačar said of the incident after the stage. “I hit a hole in the city, and I just had a super fast flat tire. I broke the wheel also.”

He also noted some “confusion” between him and his team car about when to stop and replace the bike that led to the crash. Pogačar said he wanted to stop before the corner, but his team wanted him to stop after the corner. Ultimately, Pogačar went down while rounding the corner.

“It was nothing serious and I was feeling good,” Pogačar said.

The timing of the crash was less than ideal for the race favorite, as it came at the bottom of the Oropa, the nasty climb to the finish. But Pogačar didn’t panic, and quickly made it back to the peloton as the pace started to ramp up on the Oropa.

Then with about 4km to go in the stage on the final climb, Pogačar made his move to the front and no one could match his acceleration. Pogačar won the stage by 27 seconds over Daniel Martinez (INEOS Grenadiers) and Geraint Thomas (INEOS Grenadiers).

After factoring in time bonuses (14 seconds for Pogačar and 6 seconds for Thomas and Martínez), Pogačar leads the general classification of the Giro d’Italia by 45 seconds over Thomas and Martinez. Jhonatan Narváez, who wore the pink jersey on Sunday after winning Stage 1 of the Giro, was dropped on the final climb and now sits in 19th overall in the GC, 2:07 seconds back of the leader.

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