Kicking off the Giro with a solid showing in the opening time trial, Team DSM immediately hit the ground running on the first road stage where Marius Mayrhofer sprinted to a fine fifth place after some strong work by the team. It would be on stage four though where the shape of the first week would take place.
Some superb riding by the team to support our climbing breakaway trident of Andreas Leknessund, Florian Stork and Harm Vanhoucke; it would eventually be Leknessund who made it into the day’s breakaway. Coached expertly from the car behind and with diamonds in the legs, Andreas would try to break the shackles from the rest of his breakaway companions on the final climb. Unable to shake one rider, going under the flamme rouge Leknessund pulled on the front and gave it his all; knowing he would move into the magical Maglia Rosa.
Wearing the famous pink jersey in the following days; the whole team rallied around Leknessund and honoured the race lead. Each and everyone of the riders and staff stepped up to hold onto the jersey for as long as possible. Controlled and smart riding saw the team allow a few days go to the breakaway, so that there would be as little action in the peloton as possible.
The GC battle came to blows though on stage eight where despite the break taking the win, the steep climb in the finale saw the very best climbers put in strong attacks. Nonetheless, buoyed by the race lead, Leknessund fought hard after some good positioning work by the time and pushed all the way to the line; holding onto pink for one more day, by a margin of eight seconds.
Rounding out the opening week, a 35 kilometre time trial saw Leknessund and Team DSM try and defend the Maglia Rosa for one last time. Despite giving their best efforts, Leknessund had to relinquish the jersey come the finish but he and the whole team can be proud of the first week of the Giro; and will now look ahead to the second week where more opportunities await them.