Kettel wins Giro d'Italia stage

Marcel Kittel of Germany sprints to victory in a wet Belfast as Orica's Michael Matthews takes over the race lead.

    Kettel clocked more than five hours to claim his first stage win on the day before his 26th birthday [AFP]
    Kettel clocked more than five hours to claim his first stage win on the day before his 26th birthday [AFP]

    Marcel Kittel sprinted to victory in a wet second stage of the Giro d'Italia as Michael Matthews took the overall leader's pink jersey from Orica-GreenEdge teammate Svein Tuft.

    Kittel timed his move to perfection, with 200m remaining, to edge out Nacer Bouhanni and Giacomo Nizzolo in a bunch sprint at the end of the 218km leg, which started and ended in Belfast.

    The German cyclist clocked more than five hours to claim his first stage win on the day before his 26th birthday.

    Despite the heavy rain, thousands of people lined the route which took in picturesque rock formation, the Giant's Causeway, as it wound down the coast.

    Two Garmin-Sharp cyclists withdrew from the race following a crash in the opening team time trial. Dan Martin will have surgery on a broken collarbone.

    Fernandez' bad break

    Teammate Koldo Fernandez finished the stage, but tests afterwards revealed he also broke his clavicle.

    There was an early break of four riders when Jeffry Romero, Maarten Tjallingii, Sander Armee and Andrea Fedi swiftly built a lead of more than six minutes on the peloton, which was led by time trial winner Orica.

    Tjallingii had a fantastic stage. Not only did the Dutch cyclist lead for most of the day, but he also powered up both category four climbs to claim the blue King of the Mountains jersey.

    With the peloton quickly catching the four escapees, Tjallingii made a solo break with 8km to go and briefly looked like holding on until he was caught with little more than 3km remaining.

    The third stage is a 187km cross-border leg from Armagh to Dublin.

    SOURCE: AP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Death from above: Every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Death from above: Every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states have launched more than 19,278 air raids across Yemen.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.