Israel Start-Up Nation started out the 2021 Giro d’Italia with a strong performance by Matthias Brändle who finished ninth in the opening time trial in Torino.
With a short distance of just 8.3 km, Saturday’s stage 1 was always going to be a very fast fight against the clock. The ISN guys were eager to do well, which Alessandro De Marchi proved with a powerful effort at the beginning of the race, crossing the line in third place at the time.
Soon after, Brändle showed that he too was on an excellent day as he came blasting over the finish line, setting a new best time with 9:09 minutes. Brändle stayed in the hot-seat for a while before ultimately settling for ninth place as the world champion Filippo Ganna (INEOS) took the win.
Matthias Brändle: “This was a very fast course, but it was actually a quite technical one too. You really had to pay attention at all times to take the corners properly. Personally, I had a really good day on the bike. I started well and I could keep the pace high all the time. At the end, I made top-10, so this was definitely a good start. Now, we look forward to the rest of the race!”
Unfortunately, despite several strong performances on the stage, the first day of the Giro didn’t end well for the team. On his way back to the hotel, Krists Neilands crashed and was taken to hospital where a scan confirmed a fracture on his right collarbone. The Latvian climber will need surgery and therefore won’t take the start of stage 2 on Sunday.