Giro d’Italia Stage 2: 3d place for Greipel

Sunday the second stage of the 98th Giro d’Italia took place, a sprint stage of 177 kilometres from Albenga to Genova.

Immediately after the official start five riders escaped the peloton. With eleven kilometres left to cover, in the first local lap of 9.5 kilometres, they were all caught. At the end the spectators got to see the expected bunch sprint. André Greipel rode in first position in the last hectometres, which were slightly uphill. He was passed by Moreno Hofland and Elia Viviani, who won. Greipel finished on the third place. Etixx - Quick-Step riders Rigoberto Uran and Tom Boonen finished 16th and 18th. Though the stage was far from difficult in terms of profile — with only one small Categorized climb in the stage — crashes in the final kilometers caused splits in the peloton, and also Pieter Serry to abandon before the last lap after falling hard.

André Greipel: “This wasn’t an easy stage, that last climb really hurt. The entire stage I was positioned in the first part of the peloton. The escapees had a maximal advantage of more than nine minutes. After Orica-GreenEdge had stabilized the gap, we let Sander Armée help in the chase. He did that together with riders of Giant-Alpecin and Trek. The situation never was problematic.”

“It was hectic on the local circuit, with some crashes, but I didn’t see those. The plan was that Adam Hansen would put me and Greg Henderson in a good position for the last straight line and so he did. With three hundred metres to go I started the sprint, too soon. I made that choice because I didn’t want to get boxed in. Fifty metres from the end Hofland and Viviani passed me by. I would have loved to win, but the others were better today. The preparation was fine, but the final touch was missing. Hopefully I can win next time.”

"Unfortunately today we have bad news with Serry, who was one of the important guys for the climbs," Uran said. "But he was involved in a crash in the final kilometers in a fall that he couldn't avoid. It's a pity overall for him. The team and I wish him a fast recovery. As for today the final was nervous, but considering everything it was well covered by the team. We will see tomorrow. It is another parcours with a profile that can make things more nervous than today, so we will see."

"I was well placed for the sprint," Boonen said. "At a few hundred meters from the finish a group of riders were pulling on the right side of the road. Suddenly the group moved on the left. I decided to stay on right but unfortunately things got a little chaotic in front of me. A Lampre-Merida almost crashed and I lost the momentum. At that point, on a slight uphill finish, there's no way to contest the sprint. Congrats to Viviani. He did a great sprint."

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