Frenchman Turgot takes stage two away from Gilbert in Three Days of De Panne
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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Frenchman Turgot takes stage two away from Gilbert in Three Days of De Panne

by VeloNation Press at 12:03 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Race Reports and Results

Bbox Bouygues Telecom continued their winning ways in stage two of the Three Days of De Panne today, when Frenchman Sébastien Turgot took the sprint in Sint-Idesbald easily over his three breakaway companions in a shortened stage marked by foul weather. Belgian Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) opened up the sprint for the line but had to settle for second best, with Astana’s Andrey Grivko rounding out the podium in third. Gilbert was frustrated with the Frenchman in the closing kilometers, as Turgot was able to take the liberty to sit on the break all day, with his teammate and race leader Steve Chainel present in the chasing group behind.

The overall race leadership changed over to Italian Luca Paolini (Acqua e Sapone) despite a last kilometer effort from Grivko, who managed the same time, but failed to secure the leader’s jersey by virtue of their standings in the points classification.

Twelve brave the weather

Twelve riders broke clear 24 kilometers into the race with Belgians Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) and Jens Keukeleire (Cofidis) the most notable names present. Joining them were Adam Blythe (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Adam Hansen (HTC-Columbia), Danny Pate (Garmin-Transitions), Andrey Grivko (Astana), Piet Rooijakkers (Skil-Shimano), Jens Mouris (Vacansoleil), Bart Dockx (Landbouwkrediet), Sébastien Turgot (Bbox Bouygues Telecom), Klaas Lodewyck (Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator) and Maxim Debusschere (An Post-Sean Kelly Team). The best placed rider in the group was Grivko in 13th place, 55 seconds behind race leader Steve Chainel (Bbox Bouygues Telecom). The constant battering of wind and rain allowed the gap to open up to more than four minutes 20 kilometers later.

The bad weather continued to affect motivation within the main peloton with the gap to the break soaring to more than 10 minutes with just over 100 kilometers remaining. Keukeleire, winner of the Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen, was the first to be spit out of the break, with the bad weather proving too much for the 21-year-old.

Ahead Gilbert and Grivko rode away from their breakaway companions using the quick succession of the Monteberg and the Kemmelberg climbs to power away. Behind, the wind was wreaking havoc on the race splitting the peloton into several groups. With 60 kilometers remaining the front pair were joined by six riders from the original group of twelve: Lodewyck, Blythe, Pate, Rooijakkers, Mouris and Turgot.

The eight leaders had 5 minutes on the nearest chase group, and it was at this time that the race organizers decided the weather conditions warranted the removal of two of the three finishing circuits, reducing the stage by 26 kilometers. Turgot continued to sit on in the break and defend teammate Chainel’s position in the overall and save his energy for the finish.

The final selection is made

With close to 30 kilometers remaining, Blythe and Pate were dropped from the front group, the latter perhaps to help with the chase behind for teammate and overnight favorite for the overall, David Millar. The gap to the group of 20 riders was 3:45, which included current race leader Chainel. Just 10 kilometers later their deficit was down to 1:30.

When the break reached the finishing circuit it was down to four: Gilbert, Grivko, Mouris and Turgot, who had a 1:15 gap over the chasers. Turgot did his job well, which was to offer no help to the leaders. At 5 kilometers to go the lead was cut down to 44 seconds, and by the time they reached the final kilometer it was Grivko driving hard on the front for a chance at the overall lead. Gilbert opened up the sprint from behind, but Turgot was too fresh and easily made it two and a row for France and his Bbox Bouygues Telecom team. 

2010 Three Day of De Panne stage two results:
1. Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
2. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto
3. Andrei Grivko (Ukr) Astana
4. Jens Mouris (Ned) Vacansoleil
5. Bobbie Traksel (Ned) Vacansoleil
6. Luca Paolini (Ita) Acqua e Sapone
7. Troesov Nikolay (Rus) Katusha
8. Hayden Roulston (Nzl) HTC-Columbia
9. Mirco Lorenzetto (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini
10. James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Verandas Willems

Overall classification after stage two:
1. Luca Paolini (Ita) Acqua e Sapone
2. Andrei Grivko (Ukr) Astana
3. Frédéric Amorison (Bel) Landbouwkrediet


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