Marcel Kittel (Etixx-Quick Step) moved closer to taking control of the Giro d’Italia‘s pink jersey, winning stage two in Nijmegen by several bike lengths to gain bonus seconds on race leader Tom Dumoulin.
The big German’s leadout train worked hard in the final two kilometres, but the sprinter was forced to follow Arnaud Démare’s (FDJ) wheel into the final 300m before launching an unbeatable sprint.
It is Kittel’s third stage win in five Giro stage starts, having won two of the three stages he won in the 2014 edition in Ireland.
The final rider of the three-man breakaway was reeled in with around nine kilometres to go, with Maarten Tjallingi (LottoNL-Jumbo) having taken all the intermediate sprint points.
Etixx-Quick Step came to the front of the peloton with two kilometres to go, with Bob Jungels leading the opening charges to the line. Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEdge) managed to hold the wheel of Kittel as the race moved towards its finished but was boxed in and wasn’t able to challenge for the win.
In the end, Kittel moved out around Démare and opened up the tank and gained such an advantage that he had time to raise his arms in celebration well before the line.
Démare finished second with Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) trailing behind in third.
Dumoulin’s lead in the pink jersey is reduced to just one second, with Kittel moving up to third in the general classification. The German could take the pink jersey on stage three if he finishes on the podium.
Giro d’Italia stage two, Arnhem – Nijmegen (190km)
1. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Etixx-Quick Step, 4-38-31
2. Arnaud Démare (Fra) FDJ, st
3. Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre-Merida, st
4. Moreno Hofland (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo, st
5. Nicola Ruffoni (Ita) Bardiani-CSF, st
6. Alexander Porsev (Rus) Katusha, st
7. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge, st
8. Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Dimension Data, st
9. Andrey Amador (Crc) Movistar, st
10. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo, st
Overall standings after stage two
1. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin, 4-49-34
2. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo, st
3. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Etixx-Quick Step, at 1s
4. Andrey Amador (Crc) Movistar, at 6s
5. Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Giant-Alpecin, at 8s
6. Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale, at 12s
7. Bob Jungels (Lux) Etixx-Quick Step, at 13s
8. Matthias Brändle (Aut) IAM Cycling, at 14s
9. Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC, at 16s
10. Roger Kluge (Ger) IAM Cycling, at 16s