Brits at the Giro d’Italia 2010: How did they do?

Seven British riders took to the start line of the 2010 Giro d’Italia in Amsterdam on Saturday, May 8. Three weeks later and there had been plenty of highs and lows, scattered with an impressive array of top ten finishes.

The race itself was full of surprises and turns that would have been dismissed by any script-writer as being too far-fetched. Rain, wind, crashes, illness and luck all played their part in shaping the overall classification in a soap opera of a race unrivalled in recent history.

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The 2010 Giro couldn’t have started better for Britain’s representatives, with Bradley Wiggins scooping the opening time trial to become only the second Briton in history to wear the coveted pink leader’s jersey. Mark Cavendish – absent this year – was the first in 2009.

Wiggins wasn’t the only Brit to feature in stage finishes. Grand Tour first timer Adam Blythe placed fifth in the race’s third stage, one place ahead of German sprint powerhouse Andre Greipel.

Steve Cummings, too, got himself into a successful break on stage 17 – he missed the final move that saw Damien Monier snatch the stage win but still came home in fifth.

Britain’s top-placed rider overall at the end of the race was Grand Tour veteran Charly Wegelius. The Omega Pharma-Lotto rider placed 29th overall after a solid third week in the saddle.

Stephen Cummings and Adam Blythe, Giro d'Italia 2010, stage 3
Adam Blythe
Team: Omega Pharma-Lotto
DOB: 01/10/1989
From: Sheffield
Final 2010 GC position: DNF
How did he do? Before May 8, Blythe had never ridden in a Grand Tour but this small fact didn’t deter the plucky youngster in getting stuck in to the bunch sprints. Placing fifth on stage three was a particular highlight, keeping himself out of trouble in the crash-strewn opening stages in Holland and beating the likes of Andre Greipel and Alexandre Vinokourov in the finale. Blythe withdrew from the race on stage 11, but it was a memorable Giro debut.

Steve Cummings leads escape, Giro d'Italia 2010, stage 17
Steve Cummings
Team: Team Sky
DOB: 19/03/1981
Final 2010 GC position: 55th
How did he do? Cummings’ job at the Giro was to play team support for Bradley Wiggins and lead-out man for Greg Henderson. However, on stage 17 the man from the Wirral got himself in a good break on a tough stage and could be seen driving the pace to keep the main pack at bay. It was a great shame that he sbsequently missed the escape-from-the-escape in the dying kilometres, which had British fans shouting at their telly as Cummings launched a last-ditch attempt to bridge to the leaders. He didn’t quite make it but came away with fifth place for his efforts.

Chris Froome, Giro d'Italia 2010, stage 16 mountain TT
Chris Froome
Team: Team Sky
DOB: 20/05/1985
Final 2010 GC position: DNF
How did he do? Froome had looked strong going into the 2010 Giro, and could be seen playing a key role in the race’s opening stages looking after early leader Bradley Wiggins and then winding up the pace in Sky’s lead-out train for sprinter Greg Henderson. The massive effort started to take its toll, however, and by the third week Froome was a spent force and plagued by knee injury. Exhausted, Froome took a pull from a police motorbike on stage 19, an act that earned him a disqualification from the race.

Daniel Lloyd, Giro d'Italia 2010, stage 13
Daniel Lloyd
Team: Cervelo Test Team
DOB: 11/08/1980
Final 2010 GC position: 103rd
How did he do? Dan Lloyd’s job at the Giro was to play support man for Cervelo’s overall hope, Carlos Sastre. Sastre had a torrid start to the Giro, finding himself on the wrong side of breaks and losing time over his rivals. Throughout the Spaniard’s struggles, Lloyd could be seen at his side. In the end, Sastre’s race came together after his luck changed on stage 11 when he gained time on his rivals and he finished eighth.

David Millar and doctor, Giro d'Italia 2010, stage 13
David Millar
Team: Garmin-Transitions
DOB: 04/01/1977
Final 2010 GC position: DNF
How did he do? David Millar rode a very strong opening few stages in the 2010 Giro, coming seventh in the opening prologue and keeping in touch with the lead group in the two chaotic road stages that followed in the Netherlands. Millar was perfectly poised for an assault on the overall lead on the race’s first day in Italy, the stage 4 team time trial. Millar’s Garmin team were one of the favourites for the stage win which would have given the Scot the maglia rosa – and made him the first Briton in history to wear all three Grand Tour leader’s jerseys. It was not to be. Garmin finished eighth behind Liquigas and Vincenzo Nibali took the race lead. Later, Millar rode well during stage eight’s mudbath, coming home in 11th but he subsequently fell ill and withdrew from the race on stage 13 with a fever.

Charly Wegelius escape, Giro d'Italia 2010, stage 10
Charly Wegelius
Team: Omega Pharma-Lotto
DOB: 26/04/1978
Final 2010 GC position: 29th
How did he do? With Omega Pharma’s leader Matthew Lloyd out of the running for the overall and concentrating on the climber’s jersey, Wegelius appeared to have a new-found freedom. And we liked it. Wegelius played active roles in breaks, and could be seen having a dig on a few stages. He then held his own in the high mountains, coming 15th on the monstrous stage 15 to Monte Zoncolan that saw Ivan Basso effectively win the race. He also placed 20th in the penultimate stage, beating the likes of Carlos Sastre and Gilberto Simoni. Finished as top-placed Brit. Great work.

Wiggins drinks Giro 2010 stage 1
Bradley Wiggins
Team: Team Sky
DOB: 28/04/1980
Final 2010 GC position: 40th
How did he do? Bradley Wiggins started the 2010 Giro better than any other rider – coming first in the opening time trial and becoming only the second British rider in history to wear the maglia rosa. His spell in the race lead may have been short-lived when Team Sky missed the split on stage two, but he continued to ride well in the following weeks. With the Tour in mind, Wiggins set out to test his legs against some of the overall hopefuls on selected climbs. Wiggins found himself in the top ten again after the epic stage 11, where a split in the bunch gained over 12 minutes on the main group of contenders, and Wiggins finished fourth. He subsequently slipped down again, but seventh spot in the final time trial in Verona showed that Wiggins’ Tour de France preparations are firmly on track.

Related links

Giro d’Italia 2010: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index

2010 Giro d’Italia coverage in association with Zipvit

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