Giro d'Italia: Marcel Kittel grabbed the first chance for the sprinters in an irresistible way and added a Giro stage win to his palmarès. This means that the 25-year-old from Erfurt belongs to the illustrious circle of professionals who have been able to celebrate stage victories in all three major state tours.
Today's 219 km stage took place in inhospitable weather conditions that are not really conducive to cycling. In Belfast, the start was again in front of the Titanic Memorial heading north, from where the professionals made their way inland to the north end of the Irish island. On the east coast, always in sight of the sea, the route led back to Belfast.
The final in downtown Belfast was quite hectic, as Kittel had to admit in the winner's interview. With 300 meters to go, a tight left-hand bend had to be caught, which Kittel managed perfectly. Second-placed Nacer Bohuhanni (FDJ.fr) was still in the lead going into the corner, but after Kittel was able to use his sprint speed to the full, both the Frenchman and the third-placed were in the lead Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek) has no chance. Kittel clearly won by more than a bike length.
Eighth on the day was Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge), replacing his teammate Svein Tuft as the pink jersey. Tuft had missed the connection a little with his group in the final and was rated with a time loss of three seconds.
With his victory, Marcel Kittel will of course be wearing the red jersey for the points with the best starting tomorrow.
- Marcel Kittel (Giant Shimano) 5:13:12
- Nacer Bohuhanni (FDJ.fr)
- Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek)
- Elijah Viviani (Cannondale)
- Roberto Ferrari (Lampre Merida)
- Manuel Belletti (Androni-Giocattoli)
- Ben Swift (Sky)
- Michael Matthews
- Davide Apollonio (Ag2r)
- Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp), all same time
- Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica GreenEdge 5:37:54
- Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica GreenEdge 0:00:03
- Ivan Santaromita (Ita) Orica GreenEdge
- Svein Tuft (Can) Orica GreenEdge
- Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica GreenEdge
- Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica GreenEdge
- Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Omega Pharma – Quick Step 0:00:08
- Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Omega Pharma – Quick Step
- Pieter Serry (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick Step
- Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Omega Pharma – Quick Step