André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) returned to winning form after his dominance at the 2015 Tour de France, with a comprehensive victory on Tuesday’s second stage of the Eneco Tour.
The German missed out to Team Sky’s Elia Viviani on stage one, but a perfect leadout by his Lotto-Soudal teammates saw Greipel sprint ahead of race leader Viviani to beat Jacopo Guarnieri (Katusha) and Tom Boonen (Etixx – Quick-Step) to the line in Breda.
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The race had concluded with two curcuits in the centre of the Dutch City, with Lotto-Soudal controlling the front of the race as the peloton navigated the final technical kilometres.
A crash within the last 2km, which saw Matti Breschel (Tinkoff-Saxo) taken down by Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Topsport-Vlaanderen), held up half the main bunch and saw a smaller leading group contest the run into the finish, where no-one could match the power of Greipel.
The main break of the day saw Jesper Asselman (Roompot Oranje Peloton) and Gijs Van Hoecke (Topsport-Vlaanderen) get away early, and they stretched out a maximum gap of six minutes.
The pair lasted through the Golden Kilometre until being caught with 15km remaining, with Asselman took over virtual lead on the road after picking up bonus time through the three intermediate sprints of the Golden Kilometre.
And he held onto it, as Greipel took his stage two glory, Asselman held on to take the white jersey off the race leader from Viviani, as the race heads into its likely third sprint stage on Wednesday.
Stage three sees the riders head into Belgium, with a 172km course from Beveren to Ardooie, which see them take on two finishing circuits before the line.
Eneco Tour 2015, stage two: Breda – Breda, 181km:
1. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Soudal, in 4-12-52
2. Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Katusha
3. Tom Boonen (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step
4. Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC Racing
5. Danny van Poppel (Ned) Trek Factory Racing
6. Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ
7. Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Katusha
8. Roy Jans (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
9. Sebastian Turgot (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
10. Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre-Merida, all same time
Overall classification after stage two
1. Jesper Asselman (Ned) Roompot Oranje Peloton, in 8-18-55
2. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Soudal, at 5 secs
3. Elia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky, at 5 secs
4. Danny van Poppel (Ned) Trek Factory Racing, at 9 secs
5. Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Katusha, at 9 secs
6. Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) Topsport-Vlaanderen, at 9 secs
7. Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana, at 10 secs
8. Nico Denz (Ger) Ag2r-La Mondiale, at 10 seconds
9. Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC Racing, at 11 secs
10. Tom Boonen (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step, at 11 secs