Please join our live blog of the Giro d’Italia Stage 2. Live coverage will begin at 20.25 AEST with updates added to this post as the race progresses.

Stage 1 of the 2012 Giro d’Italia, an 8.7km individual time trial through the streets of Herning in Denmark, went largely as predicted last night Australian time.

Young gun and pre-stage contender Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing) won the prologue in a time of 10 minutes 26 seconds. The Colorado native looked a force to be reckoned with from the get-go, shooting out of the starting gates with gusto and holding great aerodynamic form throughout his ride.

Welshman Geraint Thomas (Sky Pro Cycling) defied his self-diagnosed case of “track legs” and finished in second place, nine seconds behind Phinney in 10 minutes 35 seconds.

Danish hopeful Alex Rasmussen (Garmin-Barracuda) turned in a podium finish in front of his adoring home crowd, recording the third-fastest time of 10 minutes 39 seconds (+13”).

Attention now shifts to stage two, the first road stage of the Giro. Stage two is a predominantly flat 206km loop starting and finishing in Herning, Denmark. It should be a day for the sprinters, but that should not stop a breakaway group trying their hand at an unlikely victory.

The biggest threat to the sprinters will be the wind, particularly as the peloton heads west for a 50km journey along the North Sea coastline. Winds bring with them the chance of splits forming in the main group if they are not negotiated well.

Mismanaging a stiff breeze tomorrow is unlikely to dash many riders’ general classification hopes, but it takes hard pedalling to make up even the smallest of gaps in windy conditions.

One of the favourites for stage honours is ‘The Manx Missile’ Mark Cavendish (Sky Pro Cycling), but he will have to make do without the help of long-time leadout man Mark Renshaw (Rabobank).

Rabobank will be hoping the Australian can win the stage for himself.

Garmin-Barracuda will try to put their big sprinter Tyler Farrar into a position to hit the line first. Do not discount the Italian sprinters in their home Grand Tour. Daniele Bennati (Radioshack-Nissan) won three stages of the Giro in 2008 and will be keen to add to his tally.

The other Australian to watch on this stage is Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEDGE). The diminutive 25-year-old won a stage at the 2010 Giro d’Italia and is coming off a good performance at the Tour of Turkey, where he topped the list in the points classification.

Stage two should be all about the sprinters, but it also gives riders including Frank Schleck (Radioshack-Nissan) the chance to find form ahead of the big mountain stages.

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The Crowd Says (90)

The Roar Live Blog: Latest comments displayed at the top of the page | Click here to jump to leave a comment

  • Roar Guru

    1:43am
    Kit Harvey said | 1:43am | ! Report

    Tune in tomorrow for live blogging of stage three of the 2012 Giro d’Italia, the third and final stage in Denmark – a flat 190km journey starting and ending in the city of Horsens.

  • Roar Guru

    1:41am
    Kit Harvey said | 1:41am | ! Report

    Top 10 on the stage: 1. Cavendish [Sky Pro Cycling], 2. Goss [Orica-GreenEDGE], 3. Soupe [FDJ-Big Mat], 4. Farrar [Garmin-Barracuda], 5. Ferrari [Androni Giocattoli], 6. Renshaw [Rabobank], 7. Hushovd [BMC Racing], 8. Bennati [Radioshack-Nissan], 9. Bonnet [FDJ-Big Mat], 10. Thomas [Sky Pro Cycling].

  • Roar Guru

    1:33am
    Kit Harvey said | 1:33am | ! Report

    Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing) will retain the pink jersey for stage 3 tomorrow, Mark Cavendish (Sky Pro Cycling) will wear the jersey for the leader of the sprint classification and Balloni (Farnese Vini) leads the mountains classification.

  • Roar Guru

    1:30am
    Kit Harvey said | 1:30am | ! Report

    Top three on the stage: 1) Mark Cavendish (Sky Pro Cycling), 2) Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEDGE), 3) Geoffrey Soupe (FDJ-Big Mat).

  • Roar Guru

    1:28am
    Kit Harvey said | 1:28am | ! Report

    What an exciting conclusion to the first road stage of the 2012 Giro d’Italia!

  • Roar Guru

    1:27am
    Kit Harvey said | 1:27am | ! Report

    Cavendish a comfortable winner in the end by a bike length and a bit over Goss.

  • Roar Guru

    1:26am
    Kit Harvey said | 1:26am | ! Report

    Some sore and sorry riders after that tumble in the sprint finish. Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) has blood flowing from his head and looks in pain. Theo Bos clipped the wheel of Mark Renshaw and fell to the tarmac.

  • Roar Guru

    1:24am
    Kit Harvey said | 1:24am | ! Report

    Mark Cavendish takes out the stage for Sky Pro Cycling, with Australian Matt Goss in second place!

  • Roar Guru

    1:24am
    Kit Harvey said | 1:24am | ! Report

    ENORMOUS CRASH!

  • Roar Guru

    1:23am
    Kit Harvey said | 1:23am | ! Report

    1km to go now – I’ll get back to you after the finish!

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