Stannard starts well with top ten in the Giro d’Italia U23 prologue

Thu 7 Jun 2018

The 41st Giro d’Italia U23 got underway with a 4.4kilometre prologue in Forli this evening with team leader Robert Stannard off to a flyer for Mitchelton-BikeExchange.

2018 Giro del Belvedere winner Stannard finished in tenth on the stage only six seconds behind the winner and new race leader Edoardo Affini (SEG-Racing-Academy) with a rolling sprint stage coming up tomorrow.

A short and fast course through the historical centre of Forli in the northern Italian region of Emilia-Romagna started this year’s race and the early best time for the pan flat route was set by Alexander Konychev with five minutes and three seconds.

Colombian climber Brayan Chaves was the first riders off for Mitchelton-BikeExchange and moved straight into provisional third place with a time of 5:06” before being nudged further back by teammate Callum Scotson who finished one second faster.

Konychev lost his position in the hot seat as the big guns began to come home with Affini the clear winner and one of only two riders to break five minutes with Stannard the last rider down the ramp and posting the best time within the team.

Sport director James Victor:

“That’s a good start for us, all the boys rode well, and we achieved our two main objectives of not losing any time to our GC rivals and having everyone come through without any issues and in good shape."

“It was a short, fast course with a couple of technical corners and it was important for us not take any risks whilst also making sure that the boys had a good hit out and got a few fast kilometres in their legs ahead of tomorrow.

“We’re satisfied to begin well and although today wasn’t a major target for us it was good to see all the guys come through with good times ahead of some really tough stages to come over the next ten days.”

Giro d’Italia U23 Prologue results:

1. Edoardo Affini (SEG-Racing-Academy) 00:04:58

2. Jasper Philipsen (Hagens-Berman-Axeon) +0:01

3. Matteo Sobrero (Dimension-Data) +0:04

10. Rob Stannard (Mitchelton-BikeExchange) +0:06

Photos courtesy of Le Studio De Com.