The Citizen (Gauteng)

Merlier captures Giro stage victory


Novara – Belgian Tim Merlier (left) won the second stage of the Giro d’Italia, a 179-km ride from Stupinigi to Novara, with an impressive sprint, to give his Alpecin Fenix team a victory on their first appearance in the race yesterday.

Merlier took the early lead in the final straight and he never looked in danger as he beat Italians Giacomo Nizzolo and Elia Viviani.

Dutchman Dylan Gronewegen, who is making his comeback to racing after a nine-month suspension for causing Fabio Jakobsen’s horror crash at the Tour of Poland last August, was fourth.

Italian Filippo Ganna retained the overall leader’s pink jersey.

Organisers paid tribute to Belgian Wout Weyland, who died on the race 10 years ago, with a painted 108 bib number – the one he was wearing when he crashed on the descent of the Passo del Bocco on 8 May, 2011.

Today’s third stage (190km) is from Biella to Canale. –

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