Mathieu van der Poel in pink at the Giro d'Italia.

Van der Poel takes the first pink jersey of the 2022 Giro d’Italia

Mathieu van der Poel wins the opening stage of the Giro.

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Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) rode into the first pink jersey of the 2022 Giro d’Italia with a win in the opening stage of the race, crossing the line first at an uphill finish in Visegrad, Hungary.

The 195 km stage from Budapest came down to a fast finish with a number of recognizable speedsters managing to hang on despite attacks out front and a torrid pace with the road angling upward. Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Materiaux) hit the front with around 100 meters to go, but Van der Poel surged past in the closing meters. Behind, Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) hit the deck after touching wheels with Girmay, though there was no obvious line deviation from Girmay.

Van der Poel arrived at the line first to take his first ever Giro d’Italia stage win, and with it, the first leader’s jersey. Girmay settled for runner-up honors, with Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious) claiming third on the day.

Wilco Kelderman (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) were among the best-placed GC contenders on the day, and they picked up a handful of seconds on their rivals thanks to a small split at the finish.

After spending some time on the ground, Ewan was fortunately able to gingerly make his way over the line.

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