Alcamo (Italy), Peter Sagan remains without a win in 15 months after the Bora-Hansgrohe rider was beaten by Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) in an uphill sprint finish in Stage 2 of the Giro d’Italia.
Ulissi’s stage win and bonus seconds see him move into the race top ten, while Ineos’ Filippo Ganna retains the pink jersey for another day.
The profile of the stage made this a gilt-edged opportunity for the puncheurs and Sagan and Ulissi ensured the race, being telecast on Eurosport and Eurosport HD, played out to the script. In third place was Danish rider Mikkel Honore (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), the last of a trio who surged clear of the chasing pack on the final uphill kilometer.
Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) couldn’t stay with the winning three, settling in the end for fourth place, the best of the second group to cross the line. In the battle for the ciclamino jersey, it’s 1-0 Sagan.
Geraint Thomas and Simon Yates both enjoyed uneventful days in the saddle, but Astana suffered another setback as Aleksandr Vlasov abandoned the race. They are now down to six riders after just two stages.
Rick Zabel ceded the blue climber’s jersey. The ciclamino will pass to Ulissi, while both the pink and white jerseys will belong by rights to Ganna, with Joao Almeida (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) wearing the latter in his stead.
A spirited breakaway led by Thomas De Gendt lasted until the 10km to go kite, with the Belgian hoovering up maximum points at both intermediate sprints and the day’s first king of the mountain point.