Gianni Meersman finished off a hard day of work for his Etixx-QuickStep squad Sunday during stage 2 of the Vuelta a Espana, taking the sprint win in Baiona ahead of Michael Schwarzmann (Bora-Argon 18) and Magnus Cort (Orica-BikeExchange).
The hilly 160.8km route from Ourense to Baiona was animated for most of the day by a three-rider breakaway of Cesare Benedetti (Bora-Argon 18) Laurent Pichon (FDJ) and Brian Naulleau (Direct Energie). The trio were joined later by BMC's Philippe Gilbert, but even with the Belgian's added horsepower they were unable to stay away, setting up the bunch kick.
A crash in the final 3km took out Katusha's Sergey Lagutin and Direct Energie's Ryan Anderson, but the leaders were going full steam ahead toward the finish at that point, with Meersman getting the final advantage at the line.
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