Kittel sprints to Nijmegen victory


Marcel Kittel profited from a superb lead-out by his Etixx-QuickStep team-mates to sprint to victory in stage two of the Giro d'Italia.

The German spent the majority of Saturday's 190-kilometre ride from Arnhem to Nijmegen nestled within the peloton before bursting into life in the closing metres.

With the finish line in sight Kittel assumed the lead and ensured none of his rivals were able to get past, the 27-year-old holding off Arnaud Demare (FDJ) and Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) on the line.

Victory hands Kittel a 10-second bonus in the overall standings, enough to move him closer to leader Tom Dumoulin - but the Giant-Alpecin rider remains in pink.

An early break on a largely flat stage saw Omar Fraile (Dimension Data), Giacomo Berlato (Nippo - Vini Fantini) and Maarten Tjallingii (LottoNI-Jumbo) move clear of the peloton.

The trio were allowed to control the pace of the stage for the majority of the day, their lead growing to as much as 10 minutes.

Tjallingii took maximum points in both sprints as the breakaway dominated, while Fraile claimed the only climbing points on the solitary category four ascent.

The leaders were eventually reeled in, Berlato the final man to be dragged back into the pack with one lap of the final circuit in Nijmegen remaining.

Teams jostled for position in the closing eight kilometres but it was Etixx who protected their sprinter best, Kittel breaking through to claim victory.