Giro d’Italia 2017

21 stages, 3 restdays, enough pain and a bit of history!!!

My second Grand Tour is done and dusted – the 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia from May 5th to May 28th 2017. This year’s edition started in Sardinia and ended after some excessive climbing over the highest summits of Italy in Milan.

BORA-hansgrohe was represented with a very young team which included three Austrian riders: Lukas Pöstlberger, GC rider Patrick Konrad and me. Our whole team was highly motivated and ready to go for a stage win. But to be honest, nobody expected us to do that already on the first stage – STAGE WIN FOR LUKAS PÖSTLBERGER! On taking stock after the first stage we saw on the results…

Stage win: Lukas Pöstlberger (BORA-hansgrohe)
Pink jersey (GC): Lukas Pöstlberger (BORA-hansgrohe)
White jersey (Best U25): Lukas Pöstlberger (BORA-hansgrohe)
Green jersey (points): Lukas Pöstlberger (BORA-hansgrohe)
Blue jersey (mountains): Cesare Benedetti (BORA-hansgrohe)
Best team: BORA-hansgrohe

…well, THIS was definetely reason enough to celebrate and toast already after only one day of racing! Never before did a team what we did on this terrific day – but the absolute stunner was Pösti grabbing as first Austrian in the history of the Giro d’Italia the pink jersey! A day where we made cycling history! …and yes, 20 stages were still awaiting us 😀

Thanks to our successful start into the Giro our motivation and confidence were accordingly high – which was reflected by our performance during the whole Giro. My personal highlight was stage 16, the queen stage. On this day we started in Rovetta and finished 222 kilometers and 5000 meters in elevation later in Bormio. What I really did not expect was my 18th place on this stage! I did not only exceed my own expectations, but also those of many others. My actual job was to stay and to support our GC rider Patrick Konrad as long as possible, which turned out to be a great day for me. This result made me feel very confident about upcoming stage races! Patrick was able to hold his position in GC and finished the Giro on 16th place in GC – Chapeau!

The route to Milan was tough, long and hit my physical and mental limits. But all the spectators, the supporters and the atmosphere is worth all the suffering! Now it’s time to party before I really need some days off. The next races are already on schedule!