Tirreno-Adriatico #2: Crash interrupts final leg, sprint won by Kittel

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Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin) opened his 2018 account, winning stage 2 of Tirreno-Adriatico. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) finished second, ahead of Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo).

Stage 2 of Tirreno-Adriatico ran from Camaiore to Follonica, covering 172 km. The relatively flat stage, with a categorised climb in the first few kms, was suited for a bunch sprint.

Within the first 5km, a group of four riders consiting of Alexandr Foliforov (Gazprom-Rusvelo), Guy Sagiv (Israel Cycling Academy), Nicola Bagioli (Nippo-Vini Fantini) and Jacopo Mosca (Wilier-Selle Italia) made their escape. Bagioli returned to the peloton, leaving the other three to enjoy the break for the majority of the day.

With Mark Cavendish out of the race, after missing the time cut following his crash yesterday, the plan was for our African team to ride for Edvald Edvald Boasson Hagen. The final sprint was an un-technical finish and meant to be relatively straightforward, but a crash within the final seven kms disrupted the race.

Edvald lost position due to it, and thus it was up to Mark Renshaw, still relatively well placed, to battle it out in the final sprint. With no team mates to support him, our Australian secured a strong 14th, just outside of the top 10.

Mark Renshaw- Rider
“Not the start that we envisaged after the team’s time trial yesterday so stage two today without Mark Cavendish really changes the dynamic of the race now, obviously with Louis (Meintjes) we want to protect him until we hit the mountains. The plan was to ride with Edvald (Boasson Hagen) today in the finish but he got caught up in a crash with Scott Thwaites so I was left there in the front, had the legs to be there but not really in the pointy end and (finished) just outside the top 10 (14th). There’ll be a couple of more chances but now I think we’ll just be focusing on making sure that Louis is in a good position and doesn’t lose any time.”