10/05/15 - 6:55 PM
Albenga - Genoa
Giro d'Italia • Stage2

Albenga - Genoa
Giro d'Italia - 10 May 2015

Giro d'Italia – Follow this cycling race live with Eurosport. The action starts at 18:55 on 10 May 2015. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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That was a very messy sprint, with Sacha Modolo clearly angered by a bit of rough-and-tumble with Matthews, I think. Veteran Alessandro Petacchi completed the top five behind Mezgec, not Matthews. But it's the Australian who takes over the race lead from GreenEdge team-mate Simon Gerrans.


Viviani won by a wheel on Hofland, with Greipel a few bikes back ahead of Matthews.


Greipel opens up early, but Hofland sweeps round... but it's Elia Viviani who has the fastest kick in the last 50m and the Italian opens up his Giro account!


Orica-GreenEdge have riders en masse on the front, as do Trek and Lampre...


Under the kite and it's one kilometre to go of this fast, furious and frantic finale...


Nizzolo and Boonen are there, which is interesting. Sacha Modolo too.


The pink jersey of Simon Gerrans is near the front too - he could be a threat today should team-mate Matthews doesn't feel good. No sign of Giant-Alpecin's Luka Mezgec as Sky now come to the front with Lotto in their wheels.


Uran might well be distanced, because Etixx-QuickStep are nowhere to be seen. It will take some time to work out the fall-out from today's frantic finale...


Saxo have seven riders on the front, with Manuele Boaro setting a fierce pace. Sky and Astana flank Tinkov's men. Perhaps Elia Viviani can get the win today? Matthews and Greipel are there too, poised.


Of all the race favourites, Pozzovivo is the only one who appears to be distances. Contador, Porte, Uran and Aru are all there near the front as far as we can see.


One more lap to go as Tinkoff-Saxo lead the first peloton over the finish line. The second pack is about 20 seconds back - and Domenico Pozzovivo of Ag2R-La Mondiale is in another group even further back.


Owsain is caught by the Tinkoff-Saxo-led peloton and we're back as one - although we're not, because of the fall-out following that spate of crashes.


ANOTHER CRASH: And this is a much bigger one, with riders all over the road - including, poor chap, Heinrich Haussler once again. Terrible luck for the Aussie national champion. Etixx-QuickStep have riders involved and there are numerous splits in the peloton because of that. The breakaway riders have all been swept up except Owsain of CCC.


it looks like Heinrich Haussler is back in the peloton after that crash earlier. No sighting as yet for his IAM team-mate Matteo Pelucchi, for whom the Swiss team had high hopes in the sprint.


Just 20 seconds now for the leaders, who know that their carrots are very much cooked. Tinkoff-Saxo and Astana still doing the pace-setting duties for their men Contador and Fabio Aru.


CRASH: And it's Dayer Quintana, younger brother of the defending champion Nairo, who has hit the tarmac hard. He has numerous cuts and grazes and is being attended by the doctor, but it looks like he will ride on - once the Movistar mechanics sort out a new bike for him.


The peloton cross the finish line 33 seconds down on the five-man break. We now have two 9.5km laps of the Genoa city circuit before the ding dong sprint finale.


Colombian Darwin Atapuma (BMC) and Estonia's Tanel Kangert (Astana) also hit the deck there, as did Sonny Colbrelli of Bardiani-CSF. Atapuma was in tears after finishing yesterday's TTT: his mother passed away just two days before the start of the race.


Complete nightmare for IAM Cycling, whose gameplan has been turned on its head. Not only are Pelucchi and Haussler down, but also French veteran Sylvain Chavanel.


It's the calm before the storm as the riders enter the outskirts of Genoa.... AND THERE'S A CRASH! A handful of riders are down, including Australian national champion Heinrich Haussler and fellow IAM Cycling sprinter Matteo Pelucchi.


Having dropped to 1:35 the gap is back to two minutes as the peloton ease off ahead of those two circuits around the centre of Genoa. It's almost show time, which means the sprinters' teams are clustering toether near the front alongside the Tinkoff-Saxo outfit of race favourite Alberto Contador.


Now the gap is tumbling down - just two minutes for the five leaders, who have been out since the fourth kilometre today. A reminder of their names: Bert-Jan Lindeman (LottoNL-Jumbo), Eugert Zhupa (Southeast), Giacomo Berlato (Nippo-Vini Fantini), Lukasz Owsian (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) and Marco Frapporti (Bardiani CSF). Frapporti won both intermediate sprints and Lindeman picked up the points over the Cat.4 climb to snare the blue climber's jersey.


Two riders whose names we have not mentioned for the finish today are Belgian duo Tom Boonen and Gianni Meersman, both of Etixx-QuickStep. Aged 34, Boonen is making a belated debut in the Giro d'Italia - although his days of a Grand Tour sprinter are long gone. Meersman has excelled on slightly uphill finishes in the past so perhaps it's time for him to reassert his authority over the peloton after a couple of disappointing seasons.


The gap is not coming down fast: the five leaders are back together after that climb and they have 3:45 over the Giant Alpecin-led pack.


CRASH: Enrico Barbin hits the deck after touching wheels with a Katusha rider. He's being attended by the race doctor. He seems to have hurt his wrist, but should get on his way again soon.


The Tinkoff-Saxo boys of Alberto Contador still driving the pace. The Spaniard stole a march on his rivals yesterday in the team time trial - he already leads big rival Richie Porte of Sky by 20 seconds, and Rigoberto Uran of Etixx-QuickStep by 13 seconds.


Tinkoff-Saxo set the pace on the front of the peloton up the final stages of the climb. They cross the summit with a deficit of 3:57 on the escapees. Roll on the chase!


Zhupa and Frapporti have been dropped - and it's Lindeman who pulls clear from Owsain to cross the summit in pole position and secure the blue climber's jersey.


Marco Frapporti drops his chain at just the wrong moment, and the other four riders lay down the hammer in a bid to contest the KOM.


Giant-Alpecin's Chinese rider Cheng Ji has moved to the front of the peloton to lead the chase. He was a regular fixture on the front when he made his Tour debut last summer. They have Luka Mezgec for the finish. Meanwhile, the leaders are onto the Cat.4 climb that will decide the first blue jersey of the race.


If you're confused with the intermediate points system then there's some more info in the following Tweet...


More animation from Nizzolo's Trek Factory Racing team as the peloton approaches the intermediate sprint - with Elia Viviani of Sky also getting involved. The gap is down to 4:50 for the escapees.


Lindeman opens up the sprint early for the second intermediate TV sprint at Varazze, but it's Frapporti who takes the honours ahead of the Dutchman, with Zhupa taking third place. That puts the Italian onto 40 points in the red jersey competition - but there are 50 points on offer for the stage winner so it won't be enough for the points jersey tonight for the Bardiani-CSF rider.


The gap is down to 6:15 for the five escapees after all that commotion back in the pack.


Trek Factory Racing have come to the front of the peloton for their man Giacomo Nizzolo. Perhaps they think there are still some points on offer? And they'd be right. It's a complicated system for the TV intermediate sprints, changing for different types of stages. For today's stage, there are points for the first eight riders - whereas some stages it's only the first five, and others just the first three....


And it's Marco Frapporti who jumps out of the saddle and takes the points and bonus seconds at the sprint ahead of Zhupa and Lindeman. There are 3-2-1 seconds available at these intermediate sprints - and 10-6-4 seconds available at the finish.


The first intermediate sprint at Savona is just around the corner. There's a second sprint at Varazze ahead of the Cat.4 climb - so we can expect a bit of animation now from the breakaway riders.


The peloton slowed considerably while picking up their musettes atop a slight rise outside town. They're passing numerous beaches at the moment, and although it's early in the 'summer' - we're still technically in the spring - there are lots of people sunbathing and taking it easy this Sunday beside the sea. I don't blame them. The gap is 7:25 for the five escapees, who broke clear after 4km. Laptop, iPad and PC users can see full rider details in the live icon beside the map above.


The leaders have passed through the feed zone in Spotorno with a lead of eight minutes over the peloton. It really is a lovely day - hard to believe that last year we had that snow storm on the Stelvio and the year before, the Galibier was cancelled because of heavy snow and sub-zero temperatures...


Michael Hepburn of Orica-GreenEdge still leads the peloton ahead of a rider from Lampre-Merida and two orange shirts from CCC Sprandi Polkowice. Then we have six Sky riders and then pretty much the entire Tinkoff-Saxo crew. The pack is strung out as the riders hug the coastline. The gap is still around nine minutes.


Marco Frapporti is the elder statesman of this break, this being his fourth participation in the Giro. Lindeman has ridden the Vuelta before, but this is his first Giro, while the other three riders - Zhupa, Berlato and Owsian - are tasting a Grand Tour for the very first time. What a way to announce themselves onto the scene... a blue mountains jersey would be even better.


Proof that the sun is out and the water is, er, pink today in Genoa...


So, who else can challenge the likes of favourites Matthews and Greipel today? Juan Jose Lobato (Movistar) has been in decent form this year so the Spaniard should feature in the finale. There's also Luka Mezgec (Giant-Alpecin), a winner last year in Trieste - although the Slovenian has been in mixed form this season. Italians Elia Viviani (Sky), Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek), Matteo Pelucchi (IAM Cycling) and Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) will hope to have a sniff today, as will Dutchman Moreno Hofland (LottoNL-Jumbo).


It's a beautiful day on the Ligurian coast with not a cloud in the sky and a temperature of 25 degrees Celsius.


The gap has risen to nine minutes for the leaders. Juan Antonio Flecha, the former Spanish rider at Team Sky, doesn't think Elia Viviani will win today because his main role will be to protect Richie Porte, who is already 20 seconds down on rival Alberto Contador after Sky struggled a little in yesterday's time trial. Flecha's tip for the win is Michael Matthews...


It's the Orica-GreenEdge team of that man Matthews - and the pink jersey Simon Gerrans - who are setting the tempo on the front of the peloton. Michael Hepburn is on the front as the Australian outfit bid to keep the gap at a manageable level ahead of the business end of the stage.


After a little foray inland (now completed), today's stage hugs the coast all the way to Genoa where it concludes with with four laps of a 9.5km circuit around the city centre. After 120km there comes a small Cat.4 climb which will give one of these five escapees the chance to earn the right to wear the blue mountains jersey on the podium this evening. But we can expect the break to be neutralised by the time the race enters Genoa, setting things up nicely for a sprint finish. There's a slight 2% drag to the finish line for the last 600m but that shouldn't put off the peloton's fast men. The likes of Andre Greipel and Moreno Hofland - both winners recently in Turkey and Yorkshire respectively - will fancy their chances, as will Aussie tyro Michael Matthews and a cluster of Italian sprinters.


We pick up the race at the top of the first climb of the day near the town of Testico. The five-man break have almost eight minutes to play with over the peloton.


The stage started at 11:55 GMT and a break of five riders soon extricated itself from the peloton, 4km from the start at Albenga. They are Bert-Jan Lindeman (LottoNL-Jumbo), Eugert Zhupa (Southeast), Giacomo Berlato (Nippo-Vini Fantini), Lukasz Owsian (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) and Marco Frapporti (Bardiani CSF).


Despite two climbs on the route, today's stage should be one for the sprinters with the likes of Andre Greipel, Michael Matthews, Luca Mezgec, Juan Jose Lobato, Sacha Modolo, Elia Viviani, Giancomo Nizzolo et al all eyeing victory...


Hello and welcome to live coverage of stage 2 of the Giro d'Italia - a 177km slog from Albenga to Genoa in north-west Italy.