Home Grand Tours Giro d'Italia Ackermann stuns Viviani to take first ever Grand Tour stage win

Ackermann stuns Viviani to take first ever Grand Tour stage win

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Pascal Ackermann (Bora-hansgrohe) won a bunch sprint to claim victory on stage two of the Giro d’Italia on Sunday, edging home favourite Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) at the line in Tuscany.

Primoz Roglic retains the overall lead for a second day ahead of Simon Yates as the peloton finished together after a 205km run from Bologna to Fuceccio, just east of Pisa.

Ackermann crossed the line his arms aloft after 4hrs 44mins and 43sec in the saddle to snatch his first stage win on his Giro debut. Viviani, winner of four stages last year, was just behind along with Caleb Ewan of Lotto Soudal.

Ackermann said his victory bodes well for the team’s ambitions at the finish line in Verona on June 2.

“It was my first chance to win a stage and we achieved it straight away. It’s good for the next three weeks,” said the German. “I chose the right moment to sprint from 250 metres to go. To win the first stage of my first Grand Tour is fantastic.”

The race started under heavy rain with the weather clearing for the more technical final 50km on the first road stage of this year’s race.

Eight riders were involved in an early breakaway from the north-east, building up an advantage of up to four minutes.

The remaining four — Francois Bidard, Giulio Ciccone, Marco Frapporti and Łukasz Owsian — were caught seven kilometres from the finish line.

Ackermann launched his attack at full speed with a rear wind, with Viviani reacting slower missing out despite clocking 72.1 km/h in the sprint.

Overall race leader Roglic, who took the pink during Saturday’s short time trial, said he had not enjoyed the rain.

“It wasn’t an easy day because it was cold from the beginning and also quite fast all the time,” he said. “It’ll be another day in the pink jersey tomorrow. The team worked hard for that. It’s a pleasure to retain the jersey,” said the former champion ski-jumper.

Roglic holds the overall race lead 19sec ahead of Yates with Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) third at 23sec.

“There were a lot of teams riding, and the guys did a great job of keeping me out of the wind so for me personally it was quite an easy day,” said Yates, who finished in 33rd position but among the leading group.

“There was a little bit of nerves on the climbs towards the finish, I think it was just the general nerves from the first day of a Grand Tour and people were just trying to stay safe.

“It kept splitting the bunch, especially with the heavy legs from the rain, but we all arrived safe to the finish.”

Monday’s third stage remains in Tuscany, getting underway in Vinci, to mark the 500th anniversary of the death of Italian master painter Leonardo da Vinci, who was born in the town, and covers 219km to Orbetello.

Giro d’Italia 2019 – stage 2 results (Bologna – Fucecchio):

1Pascal Ackermann (Bora-hansgrohe)

4:44:43

2Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)

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3Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal)

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4Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates)

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5Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ)

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6Davide Cimolai (Israel Cycling Academy)

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7Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Katusha-Alpecin)

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8Jasper De Buyst (Lotto Soudal)

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9Kristian Sbaragli (Israel Cycling Academy)

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10Rudiger Selig (Bora-hansgrohe)

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11Ryan Gibbons (Dimension Data)

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12Marco Canola (Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane)

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13Francesco Gavazzi (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec)

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14Simone Consonni (UAE Team Emirates)

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15Enrico Battaglin (Katusha-Alpecin)

+05”

16Tosh Van Der Sande (Lotto Soudal)

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17Fabio Sabatini (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)

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18Davide Formolo (Bora-hansgrohe)

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19Rafal Majka (Bora-hansgrohe)

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20Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb)

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Giro d’Italia 2019 – general classification after stage 2:

1Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma)

4:57:42

2Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)

+19”

3Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain – Merida)

+23”

4Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana)

+28”

5Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb)

,,

6Rafal Majka (Bora-hansgrohe)

+33”

7Tao Geoghegan Hart (Team Ineos)

+35”

8Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo)

+39”

9Damiano Caruso (Bahrain-Merida)

+40”

10Pello Bilbao (Astana)

+42”

11Victor de la Parte (CCC)

+45”

12Bob Jungels (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)

+46”

13Richard Carapaz (Movistar)

+47”

14Tanel Kangert (EF Education First)

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15Hugh Carthy (EF Education First)

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16Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates)

+50”

17Davide Formolo (Bora-hansgrohe)

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18Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida)

+53”

19Chad Haga (Team Sunweb)

+54”

20James Knox (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)

+57”