"I was really nervous this morning, I tried to overcome a bit this emotion but it's not easy".
This is the first time that Israel has hosted the 101 year-old race, and the first time that the Giro has ever taken place outside of Europe.
Our hotel is really nice and the local food on display at the buffet looks lovely.
"I have competed in the Classics so I was ready for 230km today. It is not a given when you go to a new country that maybe doesn't have a long tradition that you are welcomed with such a crowd", he said.
The return to Sicily on Monday will take only two and a half hours. Online videos later showed Froome limping afterwards but at least he didn't fare as badly as Konstantin Siutsou of Bahrain Merida who broke a vertebrae in his back before the race even began.
"This is all I wished for, the win and a lot of time on other GC riders, so it was a flawless start for me and a ideal start for the team".
The Jerusalem issue has been infused with additional strife since the announcement by US President Donald Trump recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state and move the American embassy there from Tel Aviv on the 70th anniversary of Israel's Independence Day on May 14, 2018.
Australia's Rohan Dennis was able to preserve his narrow race lead of one second, having ended safely in the bunch.
Giro organisers have previously mooted the possibility of starting the race in Tokyo or Washington, but Dennis said there must be a limit in terms of how far riders are expected to travel from one day to the next.
"It feels really good", said Dennis, who leads defending champion Tom Dumoulin - victor of Friday's opening time trial - by one second.
Today's stage, I rode these roads during the training camp and nine times out of ten coming down that last downhill, there is a massive tailwind, so I knew if we could get there, with a big enough gap, it would be hard for the peloton to close the gap. He has no clue what to do for tomorrow's rest day. "But the final straight was good for me".
"But as I say, anything over five hours for the travel is probably too much".
Israel Cycling Academy co-owner Sylvan Adams, a Canadian-Israeli cycling enthusiast who played a key role in bringing the Giro to Israel, said it was a dream come true.
With the opening time trial and two sprint stages complete, the Giro will head to hillier territory as the riders travel to Italy, where the contenders will seperate themselves from the pack.
"I think Viviani, he sprinted but he didn't go full", admitted Dennis.