Marcel Kittel wasted little time in adding to his list of Grand Tour stage wins, blasting home ahead of the rest of the peloton at the end of the first sprinting stage of this year’s Giro d’Italia.

The Giant Shimano rider was best into Belfast, hitting the line in front of Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ.fr), Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek Factory Racing) and recent Tour of Turkey stage winner Elia Viviani, whose Cannondale team drove hard in the finale to try to set him up.

Australian Michael Matthews finished outside the top six, placing eighth, but his position relative to Svein Tuft’s 89th on the stage saw him take over the Maglia Rosa as race leader.

The team’s pre-stage concern that Alessandro Petacchi (Omega Pharma Quick Step) could pick up the required time bonus to grab the lead didn’t materialise; Petacchi didn’t sprint in the finale.

Kittel’s victory follows up on his four stage wins in last year’s Tour de France. “I am so happy with how it worked out today, and to get the Giro off to a great start for not only me but the whole team,” he said.

“The finish went quite well considering it was pretty hard to get a lead-out going on the technical run-in. The guys set me up in position and even though I was a bit isolated I managed to come round the others in the last few hundred metres.

“This was our target, getting the Giro off to the best start possible on the flat sprint stages here in Ireland and to re-pay the team here for their confidence and hard work is a great feeling.”

The stage started in damp conditions but Maarten Tjallingii (Belkin) was undeterred and attacked early on. His move spurred others into action and he was joined by Sander Armee (Lotto Belisol), Andrea Fedi (Neri Sottoli-Yellow Fluo) and Jeffry Johan Romero Corredor (Team Colombia).

They quickly opened a lead of almost seven minutes, although the Orica GreenEdge-led peloton reduced this slightly and monitored the advantage to make sure it didn’t get too out of hand.

Tjallingi was feeling good and picked up the two fourth category climbs on the stage. He still had some oomph left in the finale and struck out alone with eight kilometres left. However despite an impressive showing in holding off the bunch, he was finally reeled in just over three kilometres from the line, after which Kittel and the other sprinters played out the final act.

The new general classification sees Matthews open a three second lead over his next team-mates, namely Luke Durbridge, Ivan Santaromita and Tuft. Pieter Weening and Cameron Meyer fill the top six, with last year’s overall runner-up Rigoberto Uran (Omega Pharma Quick Step) the first from another team in seventh.

Matthews’ grip on the pink jersey is the first Grand Tour leadership of his career and was something that the team had aimed for in its pre-race strategy.

“The plan was to win the team time trial with the team we had here,” he explained. “We brought our strongest team for this discipline. The plan was to give Svein the jersey for his birthday yesterday and for all the hard word he does for us, and then for me today to try to run a place in the sprint, to take the jersey and see how long we can hold it for.”

Tomorrow’s third stage runs from Armagh across the border into the Republic of Ireland, with the capital Dublin hosting the finale. Another bunch sprint is predicted, but Kittel said that he was taking nothing for granted and that he and his team would avoid any complacency.

Stage 2: Belfast > Belfast - Stage Result

Saturday 10th May 2014

1. de
KITTEL Marcel
Team Giant-Shimano
05:13:12
2. fr
BOUHANNI Nacer
FDJ.fr
-
3. it
NIZZOLO Giacomo
Trek Factory Racing
-
4. it
VIVIANI Elia
Cannondale
-
5. it
FERRARI Roberto
Lampre-Merida
-
6. it
BELLETTI Manuel
Androni Giocattoli - Venezuela
-
7. gb
SWIFT Ben
Team Sky
-
8. au
MATTHEWS Michael
Orica GreenEDGE
-
9. it
APPOLLONIO Davide
AG2R La Mondiale
-
10. us
FARRAR Tyler
Garmin Sharp
-
11. nl
BOL Jetse
Belkin-Pro Cycling Team
-
12. it
CHICCHI Francesco
Neri Sottoli
-
13. be
VAN DER SANDE Tosh
Lotto Belisol
-
14. co
DUQUE Leonardo
Team Colombia
-
15. it
RUFFONI Nicola
Bardiani - CSF
-
16. fr
HUREL Tony
Team Europcar
-
17. co
AVILA VANEGAS Edwin
Team Colombia
-
18. it
COLBRELLI Sonny
Bardiani - CSF
-
19. no
BOASSON HAGEN Edvald
Team Sky
-
20. nl
KELDERMAN Wilco
Belkin-Pro Cycling Team
-
21. it
ALAFACI Eugenio
Trek Factory Racing
0:03
22. nl
VAN POPPEL Boy
Trek Factory Racing
-
23. au
DOCKER Mitchell
Orica GreenEDGE
-
24. de
THURAU Bjorn
Team Europcar
-
25. pl
POLJANSKI Pawel
Tinkoff-Saxo
-
26. fr
PICHON Laurent
FDJ.fr
-
27. at
PREIDLER Georg
Team Giant-Shimano
-
28. si
BOZIC Borut
Astana Pro Team
-
29. it
SCARPONI Michele
Astana Pro Team
-
30. co
QUINTANA Nairo
Movistar Team
-
31. it
CUNEGO Damiano
Lampre-Merida
-
32. es
VENTOSO Fran
Movistar Team
-
33. co
URAN Rigoberto
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step
-
34. ie
ROCHE Nicolas
Tinkoff-Saxo
-
35. it
ARU Fabio
Astana Pro Team
-
36. be
MONFORT Maxime
Lotto Belisol
-
37. be
VANENDERT Dennis
Lotto Belisol
-
38. si
MEZGEC Luka
Team Giant-Shimano
-
39. it
BRAMBILLA Gianluca
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step
-
40. it
MALORI Adriano
Movistar Team
-
41. se
LUDVIGSSON Tobias
Team Giant-Shimano
-
42. it
MONTAGUTI Matteo
AG2R La Mondiale
-
43. co
PANTANO GOMEZ Jarlinson
Team Colombia
-
44. it
PETACCHI Alessandro
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step
-
45. jp
BEPPU Fumiyuki
Trek Factory Racing
-
46. be
SERRY Pieter
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step
-
47. it
PIRAZZI Stefano
Bardiani - CSF
-
48. hr
KISERLOVSKI Robert
Trek Factory Racing
-
49. jp
ARASHIRO Yukiya
Team Europcar
-
50. it
FINETTO Mauro
Neri Sottoli
-
51. it
ROSA Diego
Androni Giocattoli - Venezuela
-
52. it
CATALDO Dario
Team Sky
-
53. by
SIUTSOU Kanstantsin
Team Sky
-
54. co
HENAO GOMEZ Sebastian
Team Sky
-
55. ch
WYSS Danilo
BMC Racing Team
-
56. au
EVANS Cadel
BMC Racing Team
-
57. it
MALACARNE Davide
Team Europcar
-
58. it
FELLINE Fabio
Trek Factory Racing
-
59. pl
MAJKA Rafał
Tinkoff-Saxo
-
60. be
PAUWELS Serge
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step
-
61. au
ROGERS Michael
Tinkoff-Saxo
-
62. be
DOCKX Gert
Lotto Belisol
-
63. dk
BAK Lars Ytting
Lotto Belisol
-
64. it
PELLIZOTTI Franco
Androni Giocattoli - Venezuela
-
65. be
WELLENS Tim
Lotto Belisol
-
66. it
SANTAROMITA Ivan
Orica GreenEDGE
-
67. it
OSS Daniel
BMC Racing Team
-
68. au
DURBRIDGE Luke
Orica GreenEDGE
-
69. au
LANCASTER Brett
Orica GreenEDGE
-
70. co
ARREDONDO MORENO Julián David
Trek Factory Racing
-
71. cr
AMADOR Andrey
Movistar Team
-
72. pl
NIEMIEC Przemyslaw
Lampre-Merida
-
73. ve
GODOY Yonder
Androni Giocattoli - Venezuela
-
74. it
GASPAROTTO Enrico
Astana Pro Team
-
75. au
MCCARTHY Jay
Tinkoff-Saxo
-
76. it
ULISSI Diego
Lampre-Merida
-
77. be
DE BACKER Bert
Team Giant-Shimano
-
78. si
POLANC Jan
Lampre-Merida
-
79. it
QUINZIATO Manuel
BMC Racing Team
-
80. es
IZAGIRRE Gorka
Movistar Team
-
81. it
PUCCIO Salvatore
Team Sky
-
82. it
MOSER Moreno
Cannondale
-
83. ch
MORABITO Steve
BMC Racing Team
-
84. fr
BOUET Maxime
AG2R La Mondiale
-
85. de
WEGMANN Fabian
Garmin Sharp
-
86. be
VERMOTE Julien
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step
-
87. ve
MONSALVE Yonathan
Neri Sottoli
-
88. au
TANNER David
Belkin-Pro Cycling Team
-
89. ca
TUFT Svein
Orica GreenEDGE
-
90. be
KEISSE Iljo
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step
-
91. nl
POELS Wout
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step
-
92. nl
KRUIJSWIJK Steven
Belkin-Pro Cycling Team
-
93. pt
CARDOSO André
Garmin Sharp
-
94. nl
KEIZER Martijn
Belkin-Pro Cycling Team
-
95. si
BRAJKOVIč Janez
Astana Pro Team
-
96. it
BATTAGLIN Enrico
Bardiani - CSF
-
97. ru
PETROV Evgeni
Tinkoff-Saxo
-
98. co
RUBIANO Miguel Angel
Team Colombia
-
99. it
GATTO Oscar
Cannondale
-
100. it
BASSO Ivan
Cannondale
-
101. it
BONGIORNO Francesco Manuel
Bardiani - CSF
-
102. ru
ROVNY Ivan
Tinkoff-Saxo
-
103. es
SáNCHEZ Samuel
BMC Racing Team
-
104. co
DUARTE Fabio
Team Colombia
-
105. de
HONDO Danilo
Trek Factory Racing
-
106. kz
ZEITS Andrey
Astana Pro Team
-
107. it
BONO Matteo
Lampre-Merida
-
108. de
GRETSCH Patrick
AG2R La Mondiale
-
109. it
TIRALONGO Paolo
Astana Pro Team
-
110. es
LANDA Mikel
Astana Pro Team
-
111. fr
MOUREY Francis
FDJ.fr
-
112. fr
MEDEREL Maxime
Team Europcar
-
113. es
RODRíGUEZ Joaquim
Team Katusha
-
114. it
CATTANEO Mattia
Lampre-Merida
-
115. it
RATTO Daniele
Cannondale
-
116. ru
GUSEV Vladimir
Team Katusha
-
117. fr
DUPONT Hubert
AG2R La Mondiale
-
118. de
KOCH Michel
Cannondale
-
119. be
DE GENDT Thomas
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step
-
120. co
TORRES AGUDELO Rodolfo Andres
Team Colombia
-
121. ru
BELKOV Maxim
Team Katusha
-
122. it
BOEM Nicola
Bardiani - CSF
-
123. ie
DEIGNAN Philip
Team Sky
-
124. be
EIJSSEN Yannick
BMC Racing Team
-
125. nl
FLENS Rick
Belkin-Pro Cycling Team
-
126. it
FRAPPORTI Marco
Androni Giocattoli - Venezuela
-
127. ca
HESJEDAL Ryder
Garmin Sharp
-
128. nl
VEELERS Tom
Team Giant-Shimano
-
129. nl
TIMMER Albert
Team Giant-Shimano
-
130. it
RABOTTINI Matteo
Neri Sottoli
-
131. ru
VORGANOV Eduard
Team Katusha
-
132. it
POZZOVIVO Domenico
AG2R La Mondiale
-
133. fr
GENIEZ Alexandre
FDJ.fr
-
134. fr
LE BON Johan
FDJ.fr
-
135. nl
GOOS Marc
Belkin-Pro Cycling Team
-
136. nl
WEENING Pieter
Orica GreenEDGE
-
137. it
LONGO BORGHINI Paolo
Cannondale
-
138. fr
BéRARD Julien
AG2R La Mondiale
-
139. fr
VUILLERMOZ Alexis
AG2R La Mondiale
-
140. fr
ROLLAND Pierre
Team Europcar
-
141. fr
SICARD Romain
Team Europcar
-
142. it
PONZI Simone
Neri Sottoli
-
143. dk
SøRENSEN Chris Anker
Tinkoff-Saxo
-
144. it
ZARDINI Edoardo
Bardiani - CSF
-
145. fr
TULIK Angelo
Team Europcar
-
146. au
HAAS Nathan
Garmin Sharp
-
147. de
GESCHKE Simon
Team Giant-Shimano
-
148. ve
RODRIGUEZ Jackson
Androni Giocattoli - Venezuela
-
149. it
VILLELLA Davide
Cannondale
-
150. nl
DEKKER Thomas
Garmin Sharp
-
151. es
LOSADA Alberto
Team Katusha
-
152. it
PAOLINI Luca
Team Katusha
-
153. it
CAPECCHI Eros
Movistar Team
-
154. it
CANOLA Marco
Bardiani - CSF
-
155. it
AGNOLI Valerio
Astana Pro Team
-
156. fr
DOMONT Axel
AG2R La Mondiale
-
157. it
COLLI Daniele
Neri Sottoli
-
158. dk
JUUL-JENSEN Christopher
Tinkoff-Saxo
-
159. fi
VEIKKANEN Jussi
FDJ.fr
-
160. us
BOOKWALTER Brent
BMC Racing Team
-
161. it
MORI Manuele
Lampre-Merida
-
162. it
CARUSO Giampaolo
Team Katusha
-
163. nl
VAN BAARLE Dylan
Garmin Sharp
-
164. es
HERRADA José
Movistar Team
-
165. co
CHALAPUD Robinson
Team Colombia
-
166. be
ARMéE Sander
Lotto Belisol
-
167. au
HANSEN Adam
Lotto Belisol
-
168. at
ZOIDL Riccardo
Trek Factory Racing
-
169. es
ANTON Igor
Movistar Team
-
170. es
VICIOSO Ángel
Team Katusha
-
171. at
EISEL Bernhard
Team Sky
-
172. es
MORENO Daniel
Team Katusha
-
173. it
BARBIN Enrico
Bardiani - CSF
-
174. co
ANACONA GOMEZ Winner
Lampre-Merida
-
175. au
SUTTON Chris
Team Sky
-
176. nl
TJALLINGII Maarten
Belkin-Pro Cycling Team
-
177. be
HERMANS Ben
BMC Racing Team
-
178. au
MEYER Cameron
Orica GreenEDGE
-
179. be
DEHAES Kenny
Lotto Belisol
-
180. fr
COURTEILLE Arnaud
FDJ.fr
-
181. nl
HOOGERLAND Johnny
Androni Giocattoli - Venezuela
-
182. br
FISCHER Murilo Antonio
FDJ.fr
-
183. fr
CHAVANEL Sébastien
FDJ.fr
-
184. it
FEDI Andrea
Neri Sottoli
0:42
185. nl
VAN EMDEN Jos
Belkin-Pro Cycling Team
0:50
186. co
ROMERO Jeffry
Team Colombia
0:58
187. it
MARANGONI Alan
Cannondale
-
188. fr
QUEMENEUR Perrig
Team Europcar
-
189. it
CECCHINEL Giorgio
Neri Sottoli
1:19
190. co
QUINTERO Carlos
Team Colombia
1:33
191. it
BANDIERA Marco
Androni Giocattoli - Venezuela
1:57
192. es
CASTROVIEJO Jonathan
Movistar Team
2:44
193. nl
STAMSNIJDER Tom
Team Giant-Shimano
3:10
194. au
HEPBURN Michael
Orica GreenEDGE
-
195. pa
CARRETERO MARCIACQ Ramon
Neri Sottoli
3:42
196. it
SELLA Emanuele
Androni Giocattoli - Venezuela
3:45
DNS. es
FERNáNDEZ DE LARREA Koldo
Garmin Sharp
-