Cycling Weekly’s coverage of the opening weekend of the Giro d’Italia in 1987.

ROCHE IN THE PINK IN GIRO

Ireland?s Stephen Roche led the Giro d?Italia as the race moved towards the first big mountain stage. Roche took the pink jersey thanks to the team time trial that was won by his Carrera squad after he had lost time in the prologue with a loose toe-clip.

Britain?s Robert Millar showed good form, taking the first of the race?s climbs. Of the Italian riders last year?s race winner Roberto Visentini was in a handy second place.

Prologue, San Remo: Roberto Visentini
Roberto Visentini (Carrera) started the 1987 Giro d?Italia as he ended the 1986 version, in the pink jersey as race leader. He won the prologue at San Remo by one fifth of a second from Canadian Steve Bauer (Toshiba) while Poland?s Czeslaw Lang (Del Tongo) was third at three seconds.

Under a warm sun Visentini flashed along the coast road at San Remo beating world champion Moreno Argentin (Gewiss) by seven seconds. Steven Roche (Carrera) had trouble with his toe-clip and finished five seconds down in ninth place. Giuseppe Saronni (Del Tongo) was 10th at six seconds.

Stage 1A, San Remo ? San Romolo: Erik Breukink
Holland?s Eric Breukink (Panasonic) took this hill climb stage which finished at the top of San Romolo. Breukink beat team-mates Phil Anderson and Robert Millar to complete a fine treble for Peter Post?s squad.

To complete the picture Panasonic?s Peter Winnen was fifth, just behind Stephen Roche (Carrera) who was fourth.

Breukink also took over the race lead by 20 seconds from Anderson. Overnight leader Visentini was third and Roche fourth.

Stage 1B, Poggio descent: Stephen Roche
Breukink still held the race lead after this unusual downhill time trial won by Stephen Roche (Carrera). Breukink finished third to Roche at six seconds. ?If I hadn?t had trouble in the prologue I would be the race leader now. A soon as the chance arises, I hope to take the pink jersey,? said Roche. ?I took care on the descent and put my effort into the last four kilometres which were flat,? Roche said.

Roche criticised the stage despite his success. ?Three riders have been killed this year, it seems like they are looking for a fourth,? he said.

Stage 2, Borgo ? Val di Taro: Moreno Argentin
World road champion Moreno Argentin (Gewiss) won the mass sprint at Val di Toro to take the 20 seconds time bonus, and jumped to fourth overall behind Breukink.

The long, hot stage was marked with a breakaway with 30 kilometres to go. Johan Van Der Velde (Gis) and Eric Caritoux (Fagor) were the most dangerous riders in the break, and they were not allowed much headway. Roche?s Carrera team led the chase and seven kilometres from the line all was brought to order.

Then Argentin moved to the front as the bunch approached an S-bend before the line. Phil Anderson (Panasonic) who was after the time bonus, got trapped at the final bend as Argentin burst through to take the stage from Belgium Benny Van Brabant (Selca). Robert Millar (Panasonic) won the only climb of the day.

Stage 3, Lerici ? Lido di Camaiore team time trial: Carrera
Ireland?s Stephen Roche (Carrera) changed into the pink jersey of race leader after his Carrera team won the time trial at Lido di Camaiore.

The powerful squad with riders like Roche, Roberto Visentini and Guido Bontempi smashed their way to the top of the overall table when they took 54 seconds out of Saronni?s Del Tongo team, 1-04 out of the Magniflex squad and 1–7 out of overnight leader Eric Breukink?s Panasonic team. Moreno Argentin lost the ground he had won the previous day when his Gewiss team lost 1-15 on the Roche band.

Overall Roche led his team mate Visentini by 15 seconds while a third Carrera rider, Davide Cassani, was third overall at 52 seconds.

Asked if there would be any dispute as to who is the team leader Roche said ?there is no problem about who is going to be team captain ? time will tell?.

NEXT PART
Giro 87: Week one, Roche still in control

1987 GIRO D?ITALIA LINKS
Giro 87: Main page
Giro 87: Opening weekend, Roche takes the pink jersey
Giro 87: Week one, Roche still in control
Giro 87: Week two, War in the Carrera team
Giro 87: Week three, Roche clinches it