Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors), who was the hot favourite for Stage 2, won an expected bunch gallop in Tel Aviv on the Mediterranean seaside, while Jakub Mareczko (Wilier Triestina – Selle Italia) made it a 1-2 for Italian riders. Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing Team) moved into the lead as he won the only intermediate sprint awarding a time bonus to dethrone Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb), thus becoming the ninth Australian to wear the Maglia Rosa and the 23rd cyclist to lead all three Grand Tours.
1 – Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) – 167km in 3h51’20”, average speed 43.314km/h
2 – Jakub Mareczko (Wilier Triestina – Selle Italia) s.t.
3 – Sam Bennett (Bora – Hansgrohe) s.t.
1 – Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing Team)
2 – Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) at 1″
3 – Victor Campenaerts (Lotto Soudal) at 3″
The stage winner Viviani said: “I usually ride well in the Middle East but I was nervous before coming to the Giro. Tomorrow there will be another occasion to win a stage but I’m already relieved. It’s amazing to start the Giro on the right foot. To ride for Quick-Step at this stage of my career was an opportunity not to be missed. There’s a group of riders 100% behind me. My goal here is to win stages – maybe one more – and the second goal is the Maglia Ciclamino. In the technical meeting, we decided to go for the first intermediate sprint in order to save my legs for the finish. Before the other one, I saw BMC pulling and Sunweb not being interested in defending the lead. I followed [Victor] Campenaerts and I scored some easy points there, but I didn’t want to interfere in the fight for the Maglia Rosa. When I went on stage for the award ceremony, I was amazed by the number of people who were there to cheer. It’s never guaranteed that a bike race encounters success abroad but the crowd here has been fantastic so far.”
The Maglia Rosa Dennis said: “Yesterday it would have been great to get a stage win, but I didn’t. Today I collected a three-second bonus through an intermediate sprint. I wasn’t overly keen to do it but the team said I should, and they did a perfect job to get me in the position to win the sprint. Therefore, my three leader’s jerseys in Grand Tours arrived in a different way: I got the yellow of the Tour de France through an individual time trial, and the red of the Vuelta a España through a team time trial, which gave me a bittersweet feeling because the whole team won and I was the only one wearing the jersey. Now the Maglia Rosa comes through a sprint on the road at halfway through the stage the day after a time trial. At some stage, I’m gonna lose this jersey. The second and third week are a bit too hard for me.”
The Maglia Azzurra Barbin said: “I didn’t even think about it but I heard after the finish that I beat a rider from home soil for the KOM. But this is cycling. Congratulations to them but this time I’m the winner. I wasn’t targeting the climber’s jersey but the breakaway was close and we heard from the car that we could try so I tried and it went well.”