Hunter strikes again in Murcia stage 2
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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Hunter strikes again in Murcia stage 2

by Ben Atkins at 11:25 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results

Robert Hunter sprinted to a second successive stage victory in the Vuelta a Murcia between Calasparra and Caravaca de la Cruz. Once again Graeme Brown (Rabobank) and Vicente Reynes were second and third behind the South African.

The early kilometres were peppered with attacks until a group of ten riders managed to break away on the first ascent of the first category climb to Alto de San Juan. The group consisted of Stef Clement (Rabobank), Sergey Lagutin and Wout Poels (both Vacansoleil), Stefan Denifl (Cervélo TestTeam), Jose Herrada (Caja Rural), Roman Kireyev (Astana), Grégory Rast and Jason McCartney (both Team RadioShack), Danny Pate (Garmin-Transitions) and Dominik Nerz (Team Milram).

As the ten riders worked together on the climb, Team Sky – who had missed the break – worked behind them to keep gap small; consequently the breakaway’s lead was never any more than a minute and a half.

On the approach to the second ascent of the Alto de San Juan the group was reeled back in and caught by the peloton, but Lagutin attacked once more as the climbing began. Once again, Team Sky controlled the pace of the peloton to prevent the Uzbek champion from gaining too much of a lead.

Lagutin crossed the summit of the climb first with a lead of two minutes. Garmin-Transitions now moved forward to lead the chase and protect Hunter’s race lead and set up another bunch sprint.

In the closing kilometres Lagutin’s lead was steadily reduced by the Garmin-Transitions led peloton, but the Vacansoleil rider refused to give up and he was only caught with just over a kilometre to go. Once again the peloton sprinted for the line, and once again Hunter proved the fastest.

Result stage 2
1. Robert Hunter (RSA) Garmin-Transitions
2. Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank
3. Vicente Reynes (Spa) HTC-Columbia
4. Alexandre Blain (Fra) Endura Racing
5. Daniel Schorn (Aut) Team NettAPP
6. Frantisek Rabon (Cze) HTC-Columbia
7. Michel Kreder (Ned) Garmin-Transitions
8. Ian Wilkinson (GBr) Endura Racing
9. Josep Jufre (Spa) Astana
10. Daryl Impey (RSA) Team RadioShack

Standings after stage 2
1. Robert Hunter (RSA) Garmin-Transitions
2. Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank)
3. Vicente Reynes (Spa) HTC-Columbia


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