Australia’s Michael Matthews take lead at Giro d’Italia

Elia Viviani wins second stage of race from Albenga to Genoa

Australian cyclist Michael Matthews, the new overall leader of the Giro d’Italia , celebrates on the podium after the second stage from Albenga to Genoa. Photo: Daniel Dal Zennaro/EPA

Italy's Elia Viviani won the second stage of the Giro d'Italia as Australian Michael Matthews took control of the race leader's Maglia Rosa.

Team Sky's Vivani covered the 177 kilometres stage from Albenga to Genoa in four hours, 13 minutes and 18 seconds, beating Moreno Hofland, of Team Lotto NL-Jumbo, and Lotto Soudal's Andre Greipel in a sprint finish.

“It’s incredible to win my first stage in the Giro,” Vivani said after holding on for victory.

"We're here to help Richie Porte in the GC (general classification) so I don't have many riders for the sprints, but (Salvatore) Puccio, (Bernhard) Eisel and (Vasil) Kiryienka managed to do a perfect job for Richie and for me.


“(Moreno) Hofland won a stage in Yorkshire, and when he appeared, I thought he would win. But I knew the final metres were uphill, and I knew when to go.”

Orica Greenedge rider Matthews took the Maglia Rosa from his team-mate and compatriot Simon Gerrans after finishing seventh in the stage.

“It was a very technical stage finish, and we knew that you had to be up front in the last kilometre,” Matthews said.

“I decided to go early, because everyone was fighting for position. But the finish was really hard.

“It was a really special time for me to wear the Maglia Rosa last year, and to wear it for the second time is even sweeter.

“It was team work yesterday that got me where I am today, so I have to thank my team-mates for this magical feeling.”