IT was a somewhat deflating afternoon in Fucecchio for Mark Renshaw and his Dimension Data team-mates on Sunday after a puncture cost them a shot at glory on stage two of the Giro D'Italia.
Though the Bathurst cyclist, who is riding in the Italian GrandTour event for the fifth time, ended up near the rear of the peloton in the 205 kilometre leg, he was hoping team-mate Giacomo Nizzolo could shine in a bunch sprint.
Dimension Data still had a number of riders well positioned in the lead bunch as the finish line loomed, but with the speed on at that stage Nizzolo's untimely puncture meant he lost contact. He ended up more than five minutes off the pace.
While Renshaw's team adjusted and instead tried to promote Ryan Gibbons for the final dash, he had to settle for 11th.
"His puncture came at the worst moment. I really wasn't feeling good today, for sure Giacomo would've been right there," Gibbons said.
The stage honours went to German national champion Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe), who stopped the clock after four hours, 44 minutes and 43 seconds.
"We saw with 250 [metres] to go that none of the sprinters had started the sprint. I decided to take my speed and go full gas and luckily it was enough," he said.
Renshaw finished 12.59 behind Ackermann, but with the 220km third stage from Vinci to Orbelello likely to be decided by a bunch sprint he will have another chance to impress.