Astana Pro Team have won the first stage of the Giro d’Italia Virtual. The team’s two riders, Alexey Lutsenko (44’41”, best individual time of the stage) and Davide Martinelli, crossed the virtual finish line with a combined time of 1h35’04”, taking the race’s first Maglia Rosa.Also Read - Giro d'Italia Virtual: Veljko Stojnic and Andrea Bartolozzi Lead Vini Zabu KTM to Stage 3 Win
The Kazak team sits at the top of the General Classification with an advantage of 6’46” over the Italian national team (represented by Elia Viviani and Under 23 rider Samuele Zoccarato), and 9’40” over Team Bahrain-McLaren (Fred Wright and Grega Bole). Also Read - Giro d'Italia Virtual: Androni Giocattoli Win Stage 2
In the Pink Race, the General Classification is led by Trek-Segafredo (combined time of 2h10’04”), thanks to the performances of Elisa Longo Borghini (the stage’s fastest finisher at 1h01’02) and Lizzie Deignan. Trek-Segafredo finished 4’18” ahead of the Italian national team in second place (represented by Maria Giulia Confalonieri and Arianna Fidanza). Movistar Team Women is third at 11’03”. Also Read - First Giro d'Italia Virtual Kicks Off Saturday
“This whole initiative really is great. At a time like this, it’s good to see the sport of cycling finding new ways to give something back to the fans while also raising funds for the Italian Red Cross,” European Road Race Champion Elia Viviani, riding today for the Italian national team.
“As an athlete, I’m more than happy to participate. It’s a genuine challenge for a rider as you’re pedalling an accurate simulation of climbs that truly do feel like the real thing. It’s an experience, I’d recommend it.”
Renato Di Rocco, President of the Italian Cycling Federation said it gives him great satisfaction to see cycling increasingly become such a source of inspiration and belonging for many.
“In these difficult times we’re all living in, the sport continues to rise up to the numerous challenges it faces, tackling them head on. The Giro d’Italia encapsulates the resilient spirit that truly distinguishes the cycling community. We should be proud of that,” Di Rocco said.
“The participation of the Italian national team, be it the men, women or Under 23s, is another source of pride. It demonstrates a sense of community, present not only within the Italian team, but also within the wider sport as a whole. The riders, the staff, the fans, we’re all one team, now more than ever. As a team, we will succeed. We must all look forward to the day when the Giro may once again travel the length and breadth of an Italian nation reborn, showing it at its very best.”