photo credits @ Tirreno-Adriatico
Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin) claimed his first victory of the season after winning stage 2 of the Tirreno-Adriatico today, that saw the German powerhouse fend-off challenges from world champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) in a sprint finish in Fallonica.
“I’ve been waiting a long time for this victory now,” Kittel said. “Since the beginning of the season not everything has always worked perfect, and we tried very hard, and finally we got this victory as a reward. I’m very happy. The team did a very good job today. I have to say a big, big thank you to everyone for helping me. I think this is a big boost for the whole group.”
Today’s stage also saw a transfer of the leader’s blue jersey from the shoulders of BMC Racing’s Damiano Caruso to his teammate Patrick Bevin, who finished fifth in today’s stage.
Caruso now sits in second place in the overall classification, while Greg Van Avermaet moved into third.
All three riders now share the same time after yesterday’s team time trial stage.
A small group of riders containing Nicola Bagioli (Nippo-Vini Fantini), Alexander Foliforov (Gazprom-Rusvelo), Jacopo Mosca (Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia) and Guy Sagiv (Israel Cycling Academy) came to form the day’s breakaway after riding clear during the climb of the Montemagno.
From there, the escapees went on to establish a maximum advantage of around seven minutes over the peloton. However, inside the final 50 kilometers their lead fell to under two minutes.
With 12 kilometers remaining, the breakaway group was eventually caught by the peloton.
Shortly thereafter, a large crash took down a sizable portion of the peloton, leaving a swathe of the riders spread across the road.
After bit of jostling Katusha-Alpecin finally managed to come to the fore with Kittel neatly tucked in their slipstream.
Seizing upon the momentum set by his team, Kittel opened up his sprint early creating a gap that proved insurmountable for Sagan et al to claim the stage honors.
Tirreno-Adriatico 2018, stage two: Camaiore to Follonica, 167km
1. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
3. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
4. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky
5. Patrick Bevin (NZl) BMC Racing
6. Jakub Mareczko (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia
7. Fernando Gaviria (Col) Quick-Step Floors
8. Danny van Poppel (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
9. Eduard Micheal Grosu (Ven) Nippo Vini Fantini
10. Simone Consonni (Ita) UAE Team Emirates, all at same time
General classification after stage two
1. Patrick Bevin (NZl) BMC Racing, in 4-34-43
2. Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing, at same time
3. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing, at same time
4. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing, at same time
5. Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott, at 4 secs
6. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky, at 9 secs
7. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky, at 9 secs
8. Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team Sky, at 9 secs
9. Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky, at 9 secs
10. Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Team Sky, at 9 secs
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