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The Belgian Tim Merlier (Alpecin) won in the sprint the second stage of the cycling Tour of Italy, Sunday, in Novara (north), ahead of the European champion, the Italian Giacomo Nizzolo.
The Italian Filippo Ganna (Ineos) kept the pink leader’s jersey, the day after his success in the time trial in Turin.
During the race, Ganna even pocketed 3 seconds of bonus in front of the Belgian Remco Evenepoel who, with the 2 seconds acquired, came back up to his Portuguese teammate Joao Almeida in the standings.
In the sprint, Merlier was almost a length ahead of Nizzolo. Italy’s Elia Viviani took third place ahead of Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen (4th), back from a 9-month suspension to sanction his dangerous Tour of Poland sprint last summer.
Belgian champion in 2019, Merlier (28) won his fourth success of the season. He is racing the Giro for the first time, just like his Alpecin team, which automatically qualified for last year’s continental classification.
Monday, the third stage, 190 kilometers long between Biella and Canale, includes three climbs listed in the second half of the course, before a last small climb at the entrance of the last 15 kilometers.