Jhonatan Narvaez clinches dramatic Stage 1 victory at Giro d’Italia


Jhonatan Narvaez of Ineos Grenadiers took the first maglia rosa of this year’s Giro d’Italia after a thrilling victory on Stage 1, a 140km race from Venaria Reale to Torino. The Ecuadorian rider managed to out-sprint Maximilian Schachmann of Bora-Hansgrohe and Tadej Pogacar of UAE Team Emirates, who finished second and third respectively.

The race concluded with Narvaez securing the win by a margin of just two seconds, positioning him 86 points ahead in the points classification and giving him a lead in the general classification. Schachmann and Pogacar are trailing at three seconds and six seconds respectively.

In the aftermath of his victory, Narvaez shared his elation and tactics, “It’s a great feeling. We had planned this with the team but I had to follow Pogacar and it still hurts me now. He went really hard but at the end I made it. In the sprint, I think he went too long. It’s amazing. We don’t have many opportunities in a Grand Tour to win a stage. Especially this one. It puts me in the Maglia Rosa. I had dreamt of this jersey. It’s been very difficult to get it.”

Adding to the narrative of the stage, the race was marked by an intense finale where Pogacar launched a robust attack. Narvaez, closely followed by Schachmann, was quick to respond, leading to a gripping three-man sprint finish in Torino. Narvaez’s strategic prowess and determination saw him through, denying Pogacar his first Giro d’Italia stage win of the year.

Reflecting further on his triumph and the challenges ahead, Narvaez stated in the press conference, “Today was my first opportunity and it’s nice to beat a strong guy like Tadej Pogacar. I will enjoy it a lot. We know he’s the strongest guy in the world. I was on his wheel, it was hard to stay there, then I had to play my cards. After my crash at Gent-Wevelgem, the team looked after me very well and sent me home for an altitude training camp in Ecuador. I’m in the best shape of my career, I’m in my best years, but I can’t fight with Pogacar in the biggest climbs, so it’ll be hard to keep the Maglia Rosa tomorrow.”

As the Giro d’Italia heads into Stage 2, which features an uphill finish to Oropa, Narvaez remains cautiously optimistic about his chances of retaining the leader’s jersey in the mountainous stages ahead. The race continues to promise more excitement and fierce competition among the top contenders.

2024 Giro d’Italia Stage 1 result

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