Welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of stage two of the Giro d'Italia from Arnhem to Nijmegen.
Buongiorno and welcome to live coverage of stage 2 of the Giro d'Italia.
Today's stage starts in around 30 minutes, with the sprinters and their teams expected to dominate the first day of road racing after Friday's opening time trial.
Tom Domoulin (Giant-Alpecin) is now a national hero in the Netherlands after winning the time trial and he will wear the race leader's pink jersey during the 198km stage to Arnhem.
The riders are currently signing on at the start under blue skies.
@giroditalia Sat, 7th May 2016 10:24:35
Yet again there are huge crowds at the start and along the stage route.
There is a mix of Netherlands orange and Giro d'Italia pink in the crowds. It's been a great combination so far.
The sign-on is done and riders have moved up to the start line area.
@AstanaTeam Sat, 7th May 2016 10:28:11
Stage 2 from Arnhem to Nijmegen is very flat, with only a short climb after 155km awarding the only climber's points of the day and then the first climber's jersey of the race.
Just before the climb there are also two intermediate sprints with time bonuses up for grabs. It will be fascinating to see if the sprinters and especially Marcel Kittel, let a break sweep up the bonus seconds of they will fight for every second and a chance to take the pink jersey.
@Etixx_QuickStep Sat, 7th May 2016 10:37:05
@giroditalia Sat, 7th May 2016 10:36:05
190km remaining from 190km
And they're off! The riders roll away. Stage 2 is underway!
@giroditalia Sat, 7th May 2016 10:39:57
As expected, the UCI were again controlling bikes for mechanical doping at the start. Yesterday they checked a total of 574 bikes, including spare bikes. Nothing was found.
Meanwhile, at the finish, TV commentator Dan Lloyd has spotted a recently married couple celebrating at the finish line.
@daniellloyd1 Sat, 7th May 2016 10:43:15
The riders have enjoyed a steady 6.7km transfer to the official start and the racing is about to begin.
Just 25km separate Arnhem from Nijmegen but today’s stage takes a wide loop westwards towards Tiel around the Waal valley before heading to Nijmegen. The stage ends with two 8.6km circuits near the river.
There is a section where the road narrows at 90km, where the route switches to a short stretch of cycle path.
Approaching Nijmegen, the route takes in the first categorised climb of the Giro, measuring 1.1 km in length, and with gradients topping 11%. It is unlikely to split the race but will award the first mountain points and so the first blue mountain's jersey of this year's race.
After just a few kilometres of racing we have an attack and the peloton seems to have let them go.
The attackers are Omar Fraile (Dimension Data), Giacomo Berlato (Nippo Vini Fantini), Maarten Tjallingii (LottoNL-Jumbo).
Race radio has confirmed that all 198 riders started today's stage, including Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafredo), who was ill before the start.
Berlato was one of the most aggressive riders in the 2015 Giro, often going on the attack, he seems hungry to do the same this year too.
The trio already have a good gap, with the peloton letting them go. They lead by 2:30.
@pierbergonzi Sat, 7th May 2016 11:09:23
The riders will enjoy a high of 26C today, with wind not expected to be factor.
The trio on the attack are working smoothly together. They could spend all day out front.
Race leader Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) was at the centre of attention as he set off in the pink jersey.
This is the map of stage 2, showing the loop west.
For further details of stage 2m check out our preview page by clicking here.
We understand the break has extended its lead to a massive 6:50.
@giroditalia Sat, 7th May 2016 11:33:07
This is the flat profile of the stage.
Today's stage covers 190km and is scheduled to end at around 5:15pm.
The Etixx-QuickStep team is also helping to lead the peloton. Marcel Kittel is arguably the favourite for today's expected sprint finish.
There are four different classification jerseys at the Giro d'Italia.
Here is an explanation and the riders in the jersey today.
Maglia Rosa (pink), General Classification leader: Tom Dumoulin (Team Giant - Alpecin).
Maglia Rossa (red), Sprint Classification leader: Tom Dumoulin (Team Giant - Alpecin) - the jersey is worn today by Primoz Roglic (Team Lotto NL - Jumbo), 2nd in the classification.
Maglia Azzurra (blue), King of the Mountains: to be assigned after the finish today.
Maglia Bianca (white), Young Rider Classification: Tobias Ludvigsson (Team Giant - Alpecin).
@katushacycling Sat, 7th May 2016 11:50:57
During the stage, time bonuses of 3,2,1 seconds are up for grabs at the two intermediate sprints. There are 10,6 and 4 seconds up for grabs at the finish.
A maximum possible 90 points are available for the points classification, not to mention 3 King of the Mountains points at the Cat 3 climb after 155km.
The break's lead is up to 7:25.
Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) spoke briefly to Italian TV before the start of the stage.
"We worked hard for this Giro. It was a hard stage with an intense, violent effort. I started well but we’re going to keep our feet on the ground."
Fortunately it’s nice weather today. We’ll try to stay together as a team during the stage. Things have started well but we’ve got to continue like this for another 20 days. Today’s it’s day for the sprinters. Kittle might try to take the pink jersey. We’ve got to ride safe and ride near the front."
The sun is out but there is some wind. A gust has just blow over some barriers in the final kilometre.
The trio on the attack are still working smoothly together. They could stay away to take the time bonuses and one of them could take the first climber's jersey.
Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) admitted that he struggled to get through the crowds at the start today.
“The crowds were amazing and I had some probably getting from bus to here but I hope it will be a cool day today."
"This is really nice for everyone in Holland. This is one of the most historic jersey in cycling; it has so much history. If you look to the many names of who wore it… and I’m one of them now."
120km remaining from 190km
The trio's lead is up to 8:25.
Elia Viviani (Team Sky) is one of the big favourites to win the sprint today.
"I won the first road stage last year and want to do it again. It’s a flat stage but on narrow roads, with lots of traffic furniture and so we have ben carefully."
"Landa lost a bit of time to his overall rivals but only what we expected. We’re ready to ride up front to protect him and do the stage for me. It’s great to see the huge crowds here and it is motivating us all."
"We’ve worked on our sprinting strategy and I beat Kittel in the sprint at De Panne. That’s boosted my confidence for the Giro. I know I can beat the very best now and that’s why were confident to do well."
The lead of the trio is up to 9:30!
With only three riders in the break, the peloton seems happy to let them open a big gap.
@Lotto_Soudal Sat, 7th May 2016 12:23:26
Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) is also a candidate for victory in the expected sprint today.
“I know I can do well,” he told Italian TV at the start.
“I’ve lost a leadout man but we’ve Mohoric and Ferrari. Other teams are perhaps stronger than us but we’ll try to come up with something, perhaps try to get the right wheel. We’ll try to win for sure, everyone’s form is good.”
105km remaining from 190km
Ten Minutes! The break now has a lead of 10:00.
@TeamDiData Sat, 7th May 2016 12:41:36
The three riders in the break have passed through the feed zone and so are enjoying a rapid lunch.
The average speed so far is 41.9km/h.
@TrekSegafredo Sat, 7th May 2016 12:47:08
In the peloton the riders are rolling along steadily. It's an easy day so far.
We've got the first images of the racing from Italian photographer Bettini. Here's the break of the day.
Bob Jungels (Etix-QuickStep) is at his team car for a bike change. But he's quickly away.
The peloton has crossed the Waal river as they chase the break.
90km remaining from 190km
The gaps is slowly coming down as the sprinters' team do the work behind.
Several teams are leading the chase of the break. Etixx is helping Giant-Alpecin, as is FDJ.
@Etixx_QuickStep Sat, 7th May 2016 13:08:42
The Movistar and Astana teams are also near the front and so the gap is falling. It is down to 6:20 now.
There is a slight side wind blowing now as the rider ride on the top of a dyke.
Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) was mobbed by the crowds at the start.
Holland is famous for its windmills, and the three breakaway riders pass a particularly striking example. It's not too active at the moment, as the sort of wind levels that might complicate a stage such as this are not really materialising for now.
Tom Dumoulin's bike has been given a pink makeover in celebration of his taking the race lead yesterday. We checked it out in Arnhem this morning, and you can check out all the photos and info in our gallery.
Under 70km to go and the riders are making their way along, stress-free, soaking up the sun that's shining like it's the height of summer.
68km remaining from 190km
The peloton continue to eat into the breakaway's advantage. It has just ducked below the 5-minute mark, with Movistar, Astana, Giant, and Etixx the teams gathered with numbers at the head of the bunch.
There are lots of fans on the roadside even as the race makes its way through the countryside. The Dutch always seem to give a Grand Tour a good welcome, with big crowds turning out for the Tour de France last year in Utrecht and the 2009 Giro in Amsterdam. We're not quite talking Yorkshire levels, but there's fantastic support and they've been rewarded but seeing their man Dumoulin resplendent in pink.
Under the 60km to go mark now as Sky, naturally, hit the front of the bunch. As well as protecting overall contender Mikel Landa, they'll be looking to deliver sprinter Elia Viviani to today's finish.
“He’s got an ‘X’ factor, that makes you think: this is a big star in the making."
Our man Alasdair Fotheringham spoke to Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford at the start in Arnhem this morning. He talked about Mikel Landa's star quality and told us he's convinced the Spaniard can win this Giro. Read the story at the link below.
55km remaining from 190km
The gap to the break is falling like the arms of the Dutch windmills are turning - steadily. It's under the 4-minute mark now.
First intermediate sprint now and it's Tjallingii who strikes out and collects some points in the red jersey standings, along with three bonus seconds in the overall standings.
The bonus seconds on offer at that sprint have all been snaffled up but the breakaway riders. That will almost certainly be the case at the next sprint at -48km as well. Dumoulin's pink jersey should be safe today, but Marcel Kittel could pile on the pressure with a stage win and the 10 bonus seconds that brings with it.
Last night we posted a story looking at Kittel's prospects of wrestling the pink jersey from Dumoulin - and what he needs to do to make it happen. Here it is:
A shot of the start this morning in Arnhem - a sea of riders, fans, and pink.
Tjallingii once again gets maximum red jersey points at this second intermediate sprint.
Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo), as he did at the last sprint, strikes out from the bunch to collect the last remaining points on offer. He's followed this time by Elia Viviani, Marcel Kittel, and Sacha Modolo.
The sprint finishes at the end of stages hold much more opportunity for point-scoring than the paltry rewards of mopping up behind the break on the intermediates. Nizzolo, though, as it happens, won the points jersey at last year's Giro despite not winning a stage.
That second sprint was located at the top of the relatively mild Berg en Dal climb. The riders are now looping around to tackle it once more, and this time it will count towards the King of the Mountains classification.
@TeamSky Sat, 7th May 2016 14:20:11
Here we go, the break is on the climb.
They're about to sprint.
The three are shoulder to shoulder as if racing on the track.
It's Berlato against Fraile.
But Omar Freile is the strongest and wins the sprint. He will pull on the first blue climber's jersey after the finish in Nijmegen.
33km remaining from 190km
The peloton is 2:45 down on the trio.
The stage is covering some twisting, narrow roads but there have been no problems or crashes due to the steady pace.
The peloton is making a very calculated chase of the break. They will be caught close to the finish.
Orica rider Sam Bewley gets a bike change but it will take him some time to get back on.
25km remaining from 190km
The trio on the attack seem ready to give up their attack and are even calling on the crowd to cheer them.
Andre Cardoso (Cannondale) went down but is back on his way.
Other riders were affected, including two Gazprom riders.
The trio are about to caught after being away for 170km.
The race is on the bridge over the Waal river.
The lack of cross winds mean there are no echelons. After such a steady stage, it is going to be a very fast finish.
The peloton is about to catch the break but Berlato jumps away alone.
He is chasing the most aggressive rider award after Fraile took the climber's jersey and Tjallinii took the two intermediate sprints.
The teams are now lined up in the peloton to protect their team leaders.
The riders are about to pass through the finish area for two 8.6km laps. The sprinters will get two chances to see the finish and especially the final sweeping right turn.
Berlato rightly gets a cheer from the huge crowd.
He leads the peloton by just 57 seconds.
Berlato refuses to give up and is fighting on alone.
@GiantAlpecin Sat, 7th May 2016 14:57:16
The sprinters' teams are holding back for now, letting the GC teams keep their leaders safe at the front.
Each lap crosses the river twice over two spectacular bridges.
Sky, Movistar, Giant-Alpecin and Cannondale are bossing the front of the peloton.
Race leader and pink jersey Tom Dumoulin is on the wheel of his Giant-Alpecin teammates. He needs to avoid any late crashes or splits to keep the pink.
Berlato is still clear but his lead is down to 20 seconds.
10km remaining from 190km
There's a slight cross wind on the bridges but not enough to cause problems.
Gruppo Compatto! Berlato is caught and so the race is all back together. The young Italian was away for 181km today. He will no doubt enjoy his post-race massage tonight.
The bell rings. one 8.6km lap to go. The speed will kick up very soon.
The peloton is lined out with riders on both sides of the road. Which is the best line?
The riders are on the big bridge but remain packed together.
Matteo Tosatto is on the front for Tinkoff. This is his 33rd Grand Tour of his career.
4km remaining from 190km
Here we go. FDJ take control on the left.
FDJ has six riders lined out fro the lead out. Etixx is also moving up but nobody wants to take control.
Orica is mixed in with Eitxx. As Lotto Soudal move up.
@Lotto_Soudal Sat, 7th May 2016 15:13:11
Here comes Trek Segafredo but now Etixx is finally taking charge.
1km remaining from 190km
FDJ leads it out.
Kittel leads it out...
.... and Kittel wins stage 2 of the Giro d'Italia.
The German hit the front quite early but won it well. His rivals had no reply to his final turn of speed.
Arnaud Demare (FDJ) was second.
Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) was third.
Kittel waited before starting his sprint but then he quickly distanced his rivals to win by several bike lengths.
He got a kiss from his Dutch girlfriend as an extra prize.
Marcel Kittel has now won three stages at the Giro d’Italia but none of them have ever been in Italy. He won two in the 2014 Giro, which started in Ireland.
Marcel Kittel was happy to win a third stage.
“I’m super happy. Yesterday in the time trial I showed that I was in good shape. This was a tricky finale today but a finale where I said I’d stay with my teammates. They did a good job to put me in a good place for the sprint and I did the rest. There was a great atmosphere today, it was a great day," he said.
Kittel let out a big 'Yes!' after winning. It was the 24th win of the season for Etixx-QuickStep.
@giroditalia Sat, 7th May 2016 15:28:37
Provisional results show that Dumoulin keeps the pink jersey but he is on the same time as second in the time trial Primož Roglič (Team LottoNL - Jumbo). Kittle is now third at just one second. He could take pink if he picks up bonus seconds on Sunday.
Kittel celebrates his win on the podium by spraying the spumante high in the sky.
Now Dumoulin is on stage to pull on the pink jersey. He gets a massive cheer from the Dutch crowd.
@Etixx_QuickStep Sat, 7th May 2016 15:30:50
Dumoulin was happy to keep the pink jersey and enjoyed his special day in pink in front of the Dutch crowd.
“It was a party out there. The Crowd was huge, especially on the final lap.,” he said.
“I think we did a good job to keep the jersey. Kittel is now close now on GC and so maybe dwe’ll follow a different plan tomorrow but I’ll still wear this nice jersey tomorrow.”
Tobias Ludvigsson (Giant - Alpecin) keeps the white jersey as best young rider.
@giroditalia Sat, 7th May 2016 15:46:30
The stage finished just minutes ago but we've got the first images and our full stage report. Click here to read it and enjoy the images of the first road stage in the Netherlands.
Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) produced a good sprint to finish third behind Kittel and Demare but he wasn’t satisfied with the result.
“I came up from about seventh or eighth place. I almost got Demare too,” he said.
“It’s a pity I didn’t get Kittel’s wheel. He would probably have won but anyway but I could have had a go and taken him on.”
The high speed meant it was difficult to move up. It was a bit dangerous because I saw Nicola Ruffoni of Bardiani fighting for position with other riders. It’s a pity but lets see what happens tomorrow. My form is good and third is not a bad result. There were a lot of people along the roadside and even in the road. It’s great to see.”
Click on the link below to read what the contenders of the stage had to say.
@Cyclingnewsfeed Sat, 7th May 2016 15:54:19
Want to see Marcel Kittel's sprint win at the Giro d'Italia?
We've got the stage highlights. Click here.
@giroditalia Sat, 7th May 2016 16:11:51
The sprint has sparked a lot of debate and questions that we will try to expalin in our news and interview stories.
For example, what happened to Andre Greipel, Caleb Ewan and Elia Viviani.
Giacomo Berlato (Nippo Vini Fantini) was the hero of the day and took the most aggressive rider prize by fighting to stay away until just 9km from the finish.
“I tried right from the start. I wanted to take the climber’s jersey after going for it on the same stage last year. It didn’t come off and I only got third but I’ll keep attacking. Tomorrow is another day and I’m not going stop now. We’ve got a long way to go yet in the Giro d’Italia.”
“The crowds were amazing out there. I had goose-bumps for long sections of the stage and the crowd gave you the moral to really fight. I hope its the same in Italy because this was something special.”
@giroditalia Sat, 7th May 2016 16:18:09
@Etixx_QuickStep Sat, 7th May 2016 16:14:56
@lionelbirnie Sat, 7th May 2016 16:20:52
The stage was a quiet day for the overall contenders, with all of them avoiding the rare crashes i the final. Nobody lost any time in the finish and so are ready to fight for another day on stage 3.
Rory Sutherland (Movistar) was happy to enjoy the relaxed, party atmosphere of the opening stages in the Netherlands.
“If there’s no crashes on the first day of a Grand Tour, then it’s generally a good thing. It was an amazingly beautiful out there, so many people came out to see the race, it really showed what a great cycling country Holland is. It’s great that the Giro came here," he said.
“Alejando Valverde got through the stage safely and we kept him safe. For us it was a successful day.”
Thanks for joining us for full live coverage of stage 2 of the Giro d'Italia.
With the riders on their way to the hotels and our full report, video highlights and finish line quotes already on Cyclingnews.com, we're going bring the CN blimp down and rest up for tomorrow's stage.
Stage three from Nijmegen to Arnhem is much like today: pan flat. It heads out east to complete a 190km loop, before two 14km finishing circuits in the city.
Join us from midday CET for full live coverage yet again.
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