Kittel wins 2nd Giro stage as Dumoulin retains overall lead
NIJMEGEN, Netherlands (AP) Tom Dumoulin retained the overall lead of the Giro d'Italia as Marcel Kittel sprinted to victory in the second stage on Saturday.
Kittel waited to start his sprint but once the German hit the front no one could challenge him, and the Etixx-QuickStep rider had time to raise his arms in celebration as he crossed the line several bike lengths ahead of Arnaud Demare.
Sacha Modolo was third on the 190-kilometer (118-mile) route from Arnhem to Nijmegen.
It was Kittel's third stage win in the Giro. By coincidence, none of those victories have come in Italy, with his two previous successes in Belfast and Dublin in 2014.
''I'm very happy with this win,'' Kittel said. ''I was very focused on this Giro, on the start here. From now on we can be relieved and look forward to the next stage.
''I'm not a GC rider so (the pink jersey) is not my main priority. I gave everything on the time trial and I hoped for a win today to have a chance tomorrow. It's good to be in this situation but we'll focus on tomorrow and if we win then anything is possible.''
Kittel moved to third in the overall standings, one second behind Dumoulin and Primoz Roglic, who the Dutchman beat by one hundredth of a second in Friday's opening time trial.
''It was an easy day to control I think. Although maybe the two guys at the front don't agree,'' Dumoulin said. ''But we were never really in trouble and we had a really nice day in front of the home crowd ... The crowd was huge. It was incredible and I'm really glad to enjoy this in the pink jersey.''
There was an early breakaway of Omar Fraile, Giacomo Berlato, and Maarten Tjallingii, and the trio stayed clear for more than 160 kilometers.
They had an advantage of 10 minutes at one point before the sprinters' teams started working to bring them back.
Fraile and Tjallingii were the first to be caught, while Berlato went alone for a further 13 kilometers, before he was swallowed up at the end of the first of two 8.6-kilometer circuits to the finish line.
The 99th Giro continues in the Netherlands on Sunday with another sprint stage before an early rest day and a return to Italy.
The race ends in Turin on May 29.