Bennati takes Oman stage 2 for Ballerini
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Monday, February 15, 2010

Bennati takes Oman stage 2 for Ballerini

by Ben Atkins at 10:57 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results

Daniele Bennati (Liquigas-Doimo) won stage 2 of the Tour of Oman in a bunch sprint in Samail. He beat American Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Transitions) and Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky) into second and third place, respectively.

Today’s stage win was Bennati’s first victory in almost a year, after having won a number of Grand Tour stages in 2007 and 2008; his previous win was the overall classification of last year’s Giro di Sardegna on February 28th. Nevertheless, like teammate Francesco Chicchi at last week’s Tour of Qatar, the sprinter dedicated his win to the recently deceased Italian national coach Franco Ballerini.

“After all my problems this is a big boost,” said Bennati at the finish. “Even before I celebrated I thought of Ballerini. This victory is for him.”

The breakaway of the day consisted of Ben Gastauer (AG2R-La Mondiale), Jackson Stewart (BMC Racing), Kristof Vandewalle (Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator), Alex Dowsett (Trek-Livestrong). The four riders escaped the peloton after very early on, building a maximum lead of 6’35” before being pegged back by the sprinters’ teams in the peloton.

The four riders were eventually caught with just a few kilometres to go, having been away for 128 of the 148.5km stage.

After 133km across the Omani landscape the stage finished with two laps of an 8km circuit. Lieuwe Westra of Vacansoleil, unwilling to simply give in to the sprinters, escaped before the end of the first lap and crossed the line alone. The Dutchman took the line celebrating, thinking he’d won, unaware that there was still one lap to go. After this, the sprint was inevitable and Bennati took a long-awaited victory.

Time bonuses from his third place, added to those of his second place yesterday, give Boasson Hagen the leader’s red and white jersey going into stage 3. The 124km route, unlike any in last week’s Tour of Qatar, features three classified climbs.

Result stage 2:
1. Daniele Bennati (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo
2. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Transitions
3. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Sky
4. Matti Breschel (Den) Saxo Bank
5. Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Katusha
6. Andreas Klier (Ger) Cervélo TestTeam
7. Roger Hammond (GBr) Cervélo TestTeam
8. Bernhard Eisel (Ger) HTC-Columbia
9. Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil
10. Jimmy Casper (Fra) Saur-Sojasun

Overall standings after stage 2:
1. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Sky
2. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Transitions
3. Jimmy Casper (Fra) Saur-Sojasun


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