Haedo shows his class to win Dauphiné stage 2
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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Haedo shows his class to win Dauphiné stage 2

by Ben Atkins at 10:29 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Critérium du Dauphiné
Argentinian sprinter wins second stage by comfortable margin after breakaway caught close to the finish

Juan Jose HaedoJuan Jose Haedo (Saxo Bank) put the disappointment of being delayed behind yesterday’s crashes to win the second stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné between Anonnay and Bourg Saint Andéol. He beat Martin Reimer (Cervélo TestTeam) and yesterday’s winner Gregor Bole (Lampre-Farnese Vini) into second and third places respectively with a well-timed surge for the line that nobody could match.

"To say the truth, it’s been a great battle," said Haedo after the stage. "Not only for the last 50 kilometres; my team has done impressive work to lead me out for the sprint. The best thing was to finish the job with a win. I found the space to pass them all. It’s a reward to the team that worked the best."

In an almost identical stage to yesterday a breakaway was pulled back in the final kilometres, but this time there were no major crashes to obstruct the sprinters.

A rainy start to the stage in Annonay saw a number of unsuccessful early attacks; after 17km though, Bram Tankink (Rabobank), Guillaume Bonnafond (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Stephane Augé (Cofidis), Inaki Isasi (Euskaltel) and Anthony Delaplace (Saur-Sojasun) managed to escape. The Astana team was at the head of the peloton and, just like in yesterday’s stage, showed no interest in protecting its leader Alberto Contador’s yellow jersey.

The quintet’s lead reached a maximum of 8’10” after 35.5km before Saxo Bank sent some riders to front of the peloton and slowly began to close it. The Danish team allowed the lead to settle on around 6 minutes, where it stayed until the second to last climb, the 2nd category Col du Moulin à Vent with 75km to go.

As the peloton hit the lower slopes of the final climb, the 2nd category Col du Benas, the Milram team came forward to help Saxo Bank; as the climb went on they were joined by riders from Team Sky. At the summit with 52km to go the quintet’s lead was down to 3’50”, and at the 35km to go mark at the bottom of the descent it was just 3’25”.

The five riders in the break continued to work hard together though, and the peloton began to find it difficult to close the gap. With just 20km to go, despite Liquigas, Française des Jeux and Quick Step coming to the front, their lead still stood at 3 minutes. With this kind of advantage it began to look possible for the breakaway to succeed.

At 15km to go the lead was still 2’28” and Cervélo became the latest team to join the chase. Although each sprinter’s team only contributed one or two riders each, with this many teams represented the speed of the peloton was inevitably far higher than the five riders ahead who’d been in front for almost 150km. At 8.2km the gap had fallen to 53 seconds, but with 5.5km to go they still had 42 seconds.

As the peloton got closer the five riders began to look at one another and put in lone attacks to try to hold off what was now an inevitable catch. Ignasi attempted unsuccessfully to escape the other four, and with just 1.5km to go Delaplace tried his luck. It was to no avail though and they were finally swept up with just 1.1km as Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky) led the peloton for his teammate and green points jersey wearer Geraint Thomas.

As the sprint started Haedo found himself a long way from the front but the Argentinian put in an enormous surge down the left side of the road to come past everybody. He was able to sit up, put his arms in the air and coast over the line from several metres out.

With virtually the entire peloton arriving at the finish together, and with Contador safely inside, there are no changes at the top of the overall standings. The Spaniard retains his yellow jersey going into tomorrow’s 49km time trial, the first real test of the race.

Result stage 2
1. Juan Jose Haedo (Arg) Saxo Bank
2. Martin Reimer (Ger) Cervélo TestTeam
3. Gregor Bole (Slo) Lampre-Farnese Vini
4. Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Française des Jeux
5. Roger Kluge (Ger) Team Milram
6. Andreas Stauff (Ger) Quick Step
7. Jeremy Galland (Fra) Saur-Sojasun
8. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Cofidis
9. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky
10. Michel Kreder (Ned) Garmin-Transitions

Standings after stage 2
1. Alberto Contador (Spa) Astana
2. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) HTC-Columbia @ 2s
3. Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Team RadioShack @ 5s
4. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky
5. Dario Cataldo (Ita) Quick Step @ 12s


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