Ben Swift victorious on stage two in the Tour of Poland
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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Ben Swift victorious on stage two in the Tour of Poland

by Kyle Moore at 1:00 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Tour of Poland
 
Sky Procycling puts together another lead out, getting the best of Viviani and Boonen

Ben SwiftBen Swift (Sky Procycling) grabbed victory in stage two of the Tour de Pologne, timing his sprint perfectly after a lead out from team-mate Mathew Hayman. Elia Viviani (Liquigas-Cannnodale) was second by half a bike length, and Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) came back from a crash in stage one to sprint for third.

The Team Sky train was active near the front of the peloton in the final two of three finishing circuits that covered six kilometres around Opole.

Inside the final kilometer, Rabobank seemed to have it timed the best but Graeme Brown was unable to hold the pace long enough in support of Theo Bos. The Dutchman was forced to find a new wheel, but lost his momentum. This left Sky alone on the front with Hayman, who dropped off Swift with 150 metres and a right-hand bend to go.

Viviani was in his wheel, but the Brit held off the Italian’s late surge. Moreno Moser (Liquigas-Cannondale) came home in the main bunch to retain his leader’s jersey.

On the longest stage of the race at 239 kilometres, a break got away early, including three Poles and an Italian. Damien Walczak (Poland), Diego Caccia (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia), Adrien Kurek (Utensilnord Named), and Lukasz Bodnar (Poland) moved away quickly and built a modest lead. Having come home just 1’13” down on stage winner Moser in stage one, Bodnar’s presence in the escape meant that it wasn’t given much room. Still, Bodnar took all three intermediate sprint points, and the time bonuses that went with them, before easing up and moving back into the main bunch with 50km to go.

The three remaining men kept the pressure on out front, and as the kilometres wound down, the peloton seemed for a moment as if it couldn’t be bothered. With 30km remaining, the leading trio still had over three minutes in hand, with the peloton in a big bunch and FDJ-BigMat leading it.

Caccia sprinted away looking for the lone king of the mountains opportunity, and having grabbed it, the Italian decided it would be best to continue on his own. Caccia would attempt to tackle the remaining 25 kilometres on his own, but by this time, the peloton had cranked things up. Caccia hit the finish line for the first of three laps spanning the final 18 kilometres, and his lead was just 1’42”.

With the increasing distance biting into his legs, the Farnese Vini rider soldiered on, but two laps later, with six kilometres to go, the main bunch was on him. Speeds were high on the final trip around Opole, with Argos-Shimano, Garmin-Sharp, Rabobank and Sky all having a presence at the front.

It was a clean finish that the British squad interpreted the best, launching Swift to his first road win of the season.

Tour of Poland stage 2, Walbrzych – Opole (239km) Brief Results:

1, Ben Swift (Sky Procycling)
2, Elia Viviani (Liquigas-Cannondale)
3, Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quick Step)
4, John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano)
5, Sacha Modolo (Colnago CSF-Inox)
6, Daniele Bennati (Radioshack-Nissan)
7, Theo Bos (Rabobank)
8, Manuel Belletti (AG2R-La Mondiale)
9, Linus Gerdemann (Radioshack-Nissan)
10, Alexander Serebryakov (Team Type 1-Sanofi)

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