Belgian Tim Merlier 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 on Sunday, while Irish duo Dan Martin and Nicolas Roche were 64th and 95th respectively.

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.

Roche is 46th in the general classification after stage two, while Martin is 106th ahead of stage three.

Monday's third stage will be a 190-km undulating ride from Biella to Canale.

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 in the descent of the Passo del Bocco on 8 May, 2011.