Napolitano wins Dunkerque stage 2 and takes lead
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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Napolitano wins Dunkerque stage 2 and takes lead

by Ben Atkins at 11:42 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Four Days of Dunkirk

Danilo NapolitanoDanilo Napolitano (Katusha) won the second stage of the Four Days of Dunkerque between Coulongne and Auby in a sprint finish. He beat Juan Jose Haedo (Saxo Bank) and Rafaâ Chtioui (Acqua & Sapone) into second and third at the end of the 196.4km stage.

Despite a fast start to the stage, with the wind on the shoulders of the peloton, a three-man group managed to escape inside the first 10km. Cédric Pineau (Roubaix-Lille Metropole), Stéphane Poulhies (Saur-Sojasun) and Jean-Marc Bideau (Bretagne-Schuller) cooperated well and built a lead of more than 6 minutes by the 38km point. With a number of sprinters interested in the stage finish though, their teams refused to allow the gap to grow much bigger.

Riders from Team Saxo Bank. AG2R-La Mondiale, OmegaPharma-Lotto, Bbox-Bouyges Telecom, Katusha and Milram all took turns to keep the trio of escapees at a manageable distance. After the third bonus sprint with around 70km to go, the sprinters decided that it was time to start bringing them back.

As the breakaway crossed the climb at Mons-en-Pévèle for the first time their lead was less than a minute, and Thomas Kvist (Quick Step) counterattacked. His move was to no avail though and he and the other three were enveloped by the peloton with just over 20km to go.

From that point there were no more attacks and a sprint was inevitable. Napolitano proved to be the fastest and took his first victory of the 2010 season. Time bonuses on the stage mean that the Italian takes the lead in the overall classification from yesterday’s stage winner Alex Rasmussen (Saxo Bank).

Result stage 2
1. Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Katusha
2. Juan Jose Haedo (Arg) Saxo Bank
3. Rafaâ Chtioui (Tun) Acqua & Sapone
4. Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Française des jeux
5. Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
6. Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
7. Mathieu Ladagnous (Fra) Française des jeux
8. Andreas Stauff (Ger) Quick Step
9. Kenny De Haes (Bel) Omega Pharma - Lotto
10. Stéphane Augé (Fra) Cofidis le Crédit en Ligne

Standings after stage 2
1. Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Katusha


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