Mathias Frank (BMC Racing) assumed the overall lead from teammate Taylor Phinney at the Giro del Trentino Wednesday by finishing seventh on the mountainous, 152km second stage.
First time ever in overall lead
Frank crossed the line in a small group three seconds after stage winner Damiano Cunego (Lampre-ISD) to pull on the leader’s jersey for the first time since turning professional in 2008, a day after BMC Racing won the stage 1 team time trial.
“I knew only Roman Kreuziger couldn’t win because he was only 10 seconds down and could have taken the jersey with the bonus seconds,” Frank said. “So for me it was good to stay in the group and try my best in the sprint. I lost a few seconds but got the jersey. It’s really exciting for sure.”
Frank and teammate Marco Pinotti were in a select group that contested the stage after BMC Racing worked to keep a four-man breakaway in check early on. Pinotti stands fourth overall, nine seconds off the lead.
Tough stage Thursday
BMC Racing Assistant Director Max Sciandri said defending the lead doesn’t get any easier. Thursday’s 167.8km race features a leg-crushing, 8.5km climb before a short plunge down to the finish. “Tomorrow is going to be super hard,” Sciandri said. “The final climb averages a 15-percent grade, with some points at 19-percent. We did it in the 80s in the Giro d’Italia and haven’t done it since. It’s so steep; the mechanics are going to go up it on motorbikes.”