Cavendish takes yellow jersey
Team Sky's Mark Cavendish is the new leader of the Ster ZLM Toer in Holland after taking second place on stage two.
The world champion was edged out by Andr?reipel (Lotto-Belisol) in the sprint finish in Schimmert, with Mark Renshaw (Rabobank) in third.
But Cavendish had the consolation of moving into the leader's yellow jersey - as well as topping the points classification - following his third place 24 hours earlier.
On the same time as Cavendish at the head of the GC going into the weekend are Renshaw, Greipel and stage one winner Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano).
The second day of the race was a 167 kilometres route over some short, steep climbs on wet roads in the Limburg hills but it all came back for a bunch sprint after the remnants of the day's second breakaway were caught inside the final 5km.
The day had seen four riders - Nathan Haas (Garmin-Barracuda), Nikolas Maes (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Jim van den Berg and Bart van Haaren (both Koga Cycling Team) - move clear of the peloton in the early stages.
They were able to open up an advantage of nearly four minutes but after 122km, as they reached the Cauberg climb made famous by the Amstel Gold Race, it was all starting to come back together.
The escape quartet were joined by Gijs Van Hoecke (Topsport VlaanderenMercator) and Pim Ligthart (Vacansoleil-DCM) but as Team Sky put the hammer down on the front they always looked like being caught.
Van Hoecke was the last to be reeled in with 3km to go as the finish line approached and the fast men settled down to battle for the stage and overall spoils.
Saturday's 187km trek from Hotel Verviers to La Gileppe looks like having a key bearing on the standings as a short trip across the border into the Walloon region of Belgium throws up the longest and most challenging stage of the race.