Bora-Hansgrohe's Pascal Ackermann wins Stage 2 of Giro d'Italia
German champion Pascal Ackermann won a high speed bunch sprint to claim victory on Stage 2 of the Giro d'Italia on Sunday, edging home favourite Elia Viviani at the line
Slovenian Primoz Roglic retains the overall lead as the peloton finished together after a 205km run from Bologna to Fuceccio, with Ackermann, of the Bora-hansgrohe team, crossing the line in 4:44:43.
Ackermann finished just ahead of Viviani and Australian Caleb Ewan, to claim his first stage win on his Giro debut.
The 25-year-old had warmed up for the three-week race around the Italian peninsula by winning the Eschborn-Frankfurt, a World Tour race in his native Germany earlier this month.
His Bora team have claimed 21 wins this season, but just one by Slovak team leader Peter Sagan.
Ackermann said his victory boded well for the teams ambitions at the three week race.
"I feel so happy. It was my first chance to win a stage and we achieved it straight away. It's good for the next three weeks.
"I chose the right moment to sprint from 250 meters to go. To win the first stage of my first Grand Tour is fantastic," said the German road race champion, who made his run earlier than Viviani.
Commenting on the race, Gaviria said: “I really didn’t have the feelings I expected after the first climb, which may have been affected by the cold weather. However I tried to hold on. I really would have liked to make the most of the great work my team mates put in. The lead-out for the sprint was perfect, but I did not perform well. It has been some weeks since I last raced, so I probably need to improve my race pace. I am confident I will do it soon”.
VIDEO: 2019 Giro d'Italia Stage 2 Final Sprint
The race started under heavy rain with eight riders involved in an early breakaway before the four remaining - Francois Bidard, Giulio Ciccone, Marco Frapporti and Lukasz Owsian - were caught seven kilometres from the finish line.
Overall race leader Primoz Roglic, who took the pink during Saturday's short time trial said he had not enjoyed the rain on Sunday.
"It wasn't an easy day because it was cold from the beginning and also quite fast all the time," he said of the pacey 43.2km per hour average speed of racing.
"It'll be another day in the pink jersey tomorrow. The team worked hard for that. It's a pleasure to retain the jersey," said the former champion ski-jumper.
Monday's third stage remains in Tuscany, getting underway in Vinci, to mark the 500th anniversary of the death of Italian master painter Leonardo da Vinci, who was born in the town, and covers 219km to Orbetello.
The mainly flat route should suit the sprinters who will have 400 metres along the Tyrrhenian Sea coast to test their legs.
2019 Giro d'Italia Stage 2 Top 10
1 Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 04:44:43
2 Elia Viviani (Ita) Deceuninck-Quick Step
3 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto-Soudal
4 Fernando Gaviria (Col) UAE Team Emirates
5 Arnaud Démare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
6 Davide Cimolai (Ita) Israel Cycling Academy
7 Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Team Katusha-Alpecin
8 Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto-Soudal
9 Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Israel Cycling Academy
10 Rudiger Selig (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe