Oscar Freire confirms in Ruta de Sol, Mark Cavendish misses podium
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Monday, February 22, 2010

Freire confirms in Ruta de Sol, Cavendish misses podium

by VeloNation Press at 11:44 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results

Rabobank's Oscar Freire confirmed his recent win in the Mallora Challenge today by taking the second stage of the Vuelta a Andalucía-Ruta del Sol, beating Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia) into fourth place in what was the Manxman's first sprint of 2010. Skil-Shimano's Robert Wagner finished second with Saxo Bank's Alex Rasmussen in third, keeping the American team's reigning sprint king off the podium.

Yesterday's stage winner Sergio Pardilla (Carmiooro-NGC) managed to hold on to his leaders jersey.

Today's stage took place over 182.2 kilometers from Otura to Cordoba with just one categorized climb, the Category 3 Alto de Puerto, 44 kilometers into the stage. After yesterday's rain soaked outing that included a mountain top finish, the riders woke to sunny skies knowing they would have a steady decline in altitude as they set off to Cordoba.  However, strong winds during the day would keep the peloton honest.

Jesus Rosendo (Andalucia) got things started with a solo bid after just 20 kilometers, but the teams of the sprinters kept the Spaniard on a short leash, reeling him in as the climbs in the first 100 kilometers of the day were concluding. HTC-Columbia, Omega Pharma-Lotto, Rabobank and Team Sky all worked to keep the race together for a bunch sprint.

There was a crash in the run up to the finish, but the experienced triple World Champion Freire stayed out of trouble and was too fast for the others, notching up his second win of the season. The heavy dose of climbing the previous day proved enough to take the punch out of Cavendish's legs, with the Skil-Shimano team's second place with Wagner continuing to build up a solid resume for a Tour de France wild card spot.

2010 Ruta del Sol stage 2 results:
1. Oscar Freire (Rabobank) in 4h53'06 "
2. Robert Wagner (Skil-Shimano)
3. Alex Rasmussen (Saxo Bank)
4. Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia)
5. Francisco José Ventoso (Andalucia-Cajasur)
6. Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil)
7. Greg Henderson (Team Sky)
8. Paul Martens (Rabobank)
9. Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank)
10. Fabian Wegmann (Team Milram)

Overall after stage 2:
1. Sergio Pardilla (Carmiooro-NGC)


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