Giro d'Italia
Stage 2: Belfast - Belfast - Stage Details

Svein Tuft started stage two of the Giro d’Italia in the maglia rosa. By stage end, Michael Matthews had pulled on the coveted pink jersey. Matthews, the sixth Australian to lead the Italian Grand Tour, only needed to finish five spots ahead of his teammate to jump to the top of the leader’s board. A split in the bunch moved Matthews three seconds ahead of his ORICA-GreenEDGE teammates on the general classification.

The rainy day did not deter the Northern Irish from turning out en masse to cheer on the peloton for the first Giro d’Italia road stage. The early attacks began from the gun. Maarten Tjallingii (Belkin) was the first rider to take a sizeable advantage. Jeffry Romero (Colombia) Sander Armee (Lotto Belisol) and Andrea Fedi (Neri Sottoli-Yellow Fluo) bridged across to the lone leader, making the day’s break a four rider move.

With Tuft in pink, the Australian outfit dutifully assumed its spot at the front of the peloton. The breakaway opened up a 6’30 advantage within the first hour of racing at which point ORICA-GreenEDGE lifted the tempo ever-so-slightly, pegging the four back by about a minute. For the next 100 kilometres, the break’s advantage would hold steady between five and six minutes.

When it was time to chase, Giant-Shimano lent troops to the efforts. Twenty kilometres from the finish, the escape group’s advantage had shrunk to one minute. Tjallingii made one last attempt to evade the peloton, attacking his breakmates eight kilometres from the finish. The peloton swallowed him up just before the three kilometre mark. By that point, the sprint trains had begun to take shape.

Matthews remained well-positioned into the critical left-hand bend 300 metres from the line at which point he found himself slightly swamped. Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) was the first to open his sprint, but Marcel Kittel (Giant Shimano) was able to respond. Kittel snagged his first Giro d’Italia win ahead of Bouhanni in second and Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek Factory Racing) in third. Matthews managed eighth in the sprint.

“It’s an incredible feeling. It’s really hard to describe how amazing it was to be up on the stage getting the pink jersey. It’s an honour to be given the jersey from Svein and a real privilege to be able to wear it in my first Giro.” - Michael Matthews

“Michael is our sprinter here, and obviously the goal today was to control the peloton and put Michael into as good as position as possible until what we knew would be a very technical last corner. It worked very well, and with the split in the bunch, we actually put some time into our rivals. The next couple of days, the goal is to keep the jersey on Michael’s back. When we get some uphill, who knows? We might have the opportunity to change the jersey again to Pieter Weening or Ivan Santaromita.” - Sport Director Matt White

 



Results

Place Rider/Team Time
1 Marcel Kittel (Ger) - Team Giant-Shimano 5:13:12
2 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) - FDJ.fr ST
3 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) - Trek Factory Racing ST
4 Elia Viviani (Ita) - Cannondale ST
5 Roberto Ferrari (Ita) - Lampre-Merida ST
6 Manuel Belletti (Ita) - Androni Giocattoli ST
7 Ben Swift (GBr) - Team Sky ST
8 Michael Matthews (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE ST
9 Davide Appollonio (Ita) - AG2R La Mondiale ST
10 Tyler Farrar (USA) - Garmin Sharp ST
Place Mitchelton-SCOTT Riders Time
8 Michael Matthews (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE ST
23 Mitchell Docker (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE 0:003
66 Ivan Santaromita (Ita) - ORICA-GreenEDGE ST
68 Luke Durbridge (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE ST
69 Brett Lancaster (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE ST
89 Svein Tuft (Can) - ORICA-GreenEDGE ST
136 Pieter Weening (Ned) - ORICA-GreenEDGE ST
178 Cameron Meyer (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE ST
194 Michael Hepburn (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE 0:03:10