By Nigel Wynn
Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Transitions) took the win in Sunday's crash-strewn second stage of the 2010 Giro d'Italia, which saw Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) lose his race lead to world champion Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team).
The stage's numerous traffic islands played a large part in the race, causing several crashes including one which split the bunch in the final run-in to Utrecht. Farrar, perhaps still running on adrenaline from a fall earlier in the stage, out-sprinted a reduced field of rivals to the win - his first ever Giro stage victory - from Matt Goss (HTC-Columbia) in second and Fabio Sabatini (Liquigas-Doimo) in third.
Stage one winner Wiggins and the majority of Team Sky found themselves on the wrong side of the final split, and could only sit helplessly as the lead bunch were left to contest the sprint and the hefty 20 second win bonus.
With so little time separating the top-seeded riders after the previous day's opening time trial, the split meant the end of Wiggins' brief spell in the pink jersey. Evans was the benefactor, moving into the race lead with Farrar in second, one second behind. Wiggins lost 37 seconds on the stage and dropped to 37th overall.
Britain's David Millar (Garmin-Transitions) finished in the lead group and moved up to fifth overall.
One of the overall favourites caught in the same finishing group as Wiggins was Carlos Sastre (Cervelo). Losing so much time to his rivals on a flat stage is not a good start to his Giro campaign. He is now 74th overall, 57 seconds behind Evans.
It's Evans' second time in the maglia rosa during his career. The Aussie took the Giro race lead in 2002, but lost the jersey on an ill-fated day in the mountains when he blew and went backwards in spectacular fashion.
Earlier in the day, a four-man escape group took the initiative shortly after the stage commenced in Amsterdam. Mauro Facci (Quick Step), Rick Flens (Rabobank), Stefano Pirazzi (Colnago-CSF Inox) and Paul Voss (Milram) built up a lead of just over five minutes at its maximum but the bunch kept them within easy reach. They were caught around 40km from the line.
Tomorrow, the riders face the 2010 Giro d'Italia's third stage - and the final one in the Netherlands before a transfer and rest day in Italy on Tuesday. Stage three starts in Amsterdam and finishes 209 pan-flat kilometres later in Middelburg. Unless the cross-winds or street furniture splinter the peloton, we can expect a bunch sprint showdown and the strong possibility of a new race leader. Stage 3 preview, map and profile>>
Giro d'Italia 2010, stage 2: Amsterdam-Utrecht 210km
1. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Transitions in 4-56-46
2. Matt Goss (Aus) HTC-Columbia
3. Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo
4. Andre Greipel (Ger) HTC-Columbia
5. Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre
6. Christopher Sutton (Aus) Team Sky
7. Robbie McEwen (Aus) Katusha
8. Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank
9. Julian Dean (NZ) Garmin-Transitions
10. Sacha Modolo (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox all same time.
25. David Millar (GB) Garmin-Transitions at 3secs
29. Adam Blythe (GB) Omega Pharma-Lotto at 3secs
79. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Team Sky at 37secs
129. Charly Wegelius (GB) Omega Pharma-Lotto at 37secs
181. Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky at 4-19
182. Daniel Lloyd (GB) Cervelo at 4-19
183. Steve Cummings (GB) Team Sky at 4-19
Overall classification after stage 2
1. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team
2. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Transitions at 1sec
3. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana at 3sec
4. Richie Porte (Aus) Saxo Bank at 3secs
5. David Millar (GB) Garmin-Transitions at 4secs
6. Jos Van Emden (Ned) Rabobank at 7secs
7. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo at 8secs
8. Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Rabobank at 9secs
9. Marcel Sieberg (Ger) HTC-Columbia at 10secs
10. Matt Goss (Aus) HTC-Columbia at 13secs
37. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Team Sky at 32secs
77. Charly Wegelius (GB) Omega Pharma-Lotto at 58secs
83. Adam Blythe (GB) Omega Pharma-Lotto at 1-06
184. Steve Cummings (GB) Team Sky at 4-47
186. Daniel Lloyd (GB) Cervelo at 4-50
189. Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky at 5-05
One of the many crashes that punctuated stage two
Mauro Facci (Quick Step), Rick Flens (Rabobank), Stefano Pirazzi (Colnago-CSF Inox) and Paul Voss (Milram) in the escape group
Race leader Bradley Wiggins got caught up in several crashes
Tyer Farrar wins stage two
Cadel Evans celebrates taking the race lead
Giro d'Italia 2010: Cycling Weekly's coverage index
2010 Giro d'Italia coverage in association with Zipvit
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