Giro d'Italia 2017: Andre Greipel sprints into maglia rosa on stage two - Road Cycling UK

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Giro d’Italia 2017: Andre Greipel sprints into maglia rosa on stage two

German bags victory to claim race lead thanks to bonus seconds

Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) is the new leader of the Giro d’Italia 2017 after sprinting to victory on stage two in Tortoli.

Greipel outsprinted Roberto Ferrari (UAE Team Emirates) and Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), with his bonus seconds on stage one and two enough to take over the maglia rosa.

Caleb Ewan had looked well-placed in the final sprint, after a grippy stage failed to prevent a bunch sprint, but the Australian suffered a dropped chain and finished ninth – one place behind Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas.

Surprise stage one winner Lukas Postlberger (Bora-hansgrohe) finished his day in the pink jersey in 15th place, but now trails Greipel by four seconds overall.

Andre Greipel sprinted to victory and into the pink jersey on stage two of the Giro d’Italia (pic – RCS Sport)

Five riders had earlier booked themselves a day in the break, after a few attempts had failed to stick from the flag, with Daniel Teklehaimanot (Dimension Data) up the road for the second consecutive day.

Lukasz Owsian (CCC Sprandi Polkowice), Ilia Koshevoy (Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia), Evgeny Shalunov (Gazprom-RusVelo) and Simone Andreetta (Bardiani-CSF) were also present, ensuring an equal spread between the wildcard teams.

Bora-hansgrohe were happy to let them build up a five-minute lead, as Teklehaimanot set about claiming points at the intermediate sprint and on the climbs.

The gap was down to 90 seconds when Owsian’s day up the road was ended, while in the peloton Sam Bennett (Bora-hansgrohe) struggled on the undulating stage. The Irishman was the only sprinter struggling, however, with Ewan, Greipel and co all present in the peloton.

Teklehaimanot’s efforts on the second of the day’s two climbs put him top of the mountains classification, but the break was ended moments later.

It meant a second attack was inevitable with just a little less than 50km still to race, and Nathan Haas (Dimension Data) and Davide Martinelli (QuickStep Floors) took up the invitation.

Haas did almost all the work, however, with QuickStep clearly working for Fernando Gaviria instead, and the move was soon shut down.

Bahrain-Merida led the peloton, with the other GC teams also bringing their men forward to safety, as a few splits opened up further back.

Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) was the highest profile victim – slipping out the back of the bunch and seeing his hopes of mounting a GC challenge this year disappear up the road.

A superb effort by his team-mates looked to have relayed him back to the front before the sprints opened up, but he ended up losing 20 seconds on the day.

Greipel leads stage one winner Lukas Postlberger by four seconds overall (pic – RCS Sport)

At the front, Orica-Scott drove the pace before Lotto-Soudal hit the front, and Ewan latched onto Greipel’s wheel.

Postlberger did not give up the maglia rosa without a fight – putting in another late attack – but this time the sprinters would not be denied.

Gaviria kicked first, but Ewan’s response was muted after he suffered a dropped chain, before Greipel hit the front to take the stage win.

Thomas proved his attentiveness by finishing in the top ten, while all the other GC riders finished safely in the bunch – Zakarin the only exception.

Greipel will now wear the maglia rosa on the third of three Sardinian stages on Sunday.

Giro d’Italia 2017: stage two – result

1) Andre Greipel (GER) – Lotto-Soudal – 6.05.18hrs
2) Roberto Ferrari (ITA) – UAE Team Emirates – ST
3) Jasper Stuyven (BEL) – Trek-Sgeafredo
4) Fernando Gaviria (COL) – QuickStep Floors
5) Kristian Sbaragli (ITA) – Dimension Data
6) Enrico Battaglin (ITA) – LottoNL-Jumbo
7) Ryan Gibbons (RSA) – Dimension Data
8) Geraint Thomas (GBR) – Team Sky
9) Caleb Ewan (AUS) – Orica-Scott
10) Rui Costa (POR) – UAE Team Emirates

General classification

1) Andre Greipel (GER) – Lotto-Soudal – 11.18.39hrs
2) Lukas Postlberger (AUT) – Bora-hansgrohe +4”
3) Caleb Ewan (AUS) – Orica-Scott +8”
4) Roberto Ferrari (ITA) – UAE Team Emirates – ST
5) Jasper Stuyven (BEL) – Trek-Segafredo +10”
6) Pavel Brutt (RUS) – Gazprom-RusVelo +12”
7) Kristian Sbaragli (ITA) – Dimension Data +14”
8) Ryan Gibbons (RSA) – Dimension Data – ST
9) Fernando Gaviria (COL) – QuickStep Floors
10) Enrico Battaglin (ITA) – LottoNL-Jumbo


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