OLBIA, Sardinia — Lukas Postlberger had a dream Grand Tour debut as the Austrian surprisingly won the opening stage of the 100th Giro d’Italia to claim the pink jersey on Friday.
Victory was expected to go to one of the top sprinters, but Postlberger, a leadout man, hit the front with two kilometers to go in support of Bora-Hansgrohe teammate Sam Bennett, and when a gap opened behind him he simply kept on going.
Caleb Ewan won the bunch sprint for second place followed by Andre Greipel at the end of the 206-kilometer (128-mile) leg along the northern coast of Sardinia, from Alghero to Olbia.
There are two more stages in Sardinia. The second leg on Saturday is a hilly 208-kilometer (129-mile) leg from Olbia to Tortoli.
The Giro ends on May 28.