Sunday 9 May - At 179 kilometres, the 2nd stage of the Giro d'Italia traverses the Po valley from Stupinigi to Novara. A fast finishers showdown is next to certain.
The race kicks into gear near the Palazzina di Caccia di Stupinigi, which is a huge hunting lodge some 10 kilometres outside Turin’s city centre. On the pan flat roads of the Po valley the riders head towards Milan, but the finish is 50 kilometres earlier. In Novara, west of Italy’s fashion capital.
Last edition, Arnaud Démare was imperious in the sprints at the Giro. The Frenchman, who targets the Tour de France this year, won four stages.
It’s been awhile since Novara, birthplace of double Girowinner Giuseppe Saronni, saw a stage finish of the Giro. In 1968, Eddy Merckx took the spoils before going on to win the first of his five overall victories in the Italian Grand Tour.
The second intermediate sprint comes with time bonuses of 3, 2 and 1 seconds, while 10, 6 and 4 seconds are awarded to the first three riders on the line.
The 2nd stage of the Giro d’Italia starts at 12.55 and the race is expected to finish around 17.15 – both are local times (CEST).