Stage 2 race report
After yesterday’s fiasco it was always going to be hard to replicate the excitement, but again the Tour turned it on. Another cracker!
Tony Martin, after blacking out a couple of times after his stage 1 crash, was back on the start line looking like an extra out of Tron. Within 10km his jersey was already becoming discoloured by the scratches. A long day in the saddle was in the wings.
Early on a break of 4 got away, including the human onomatopoeia Lars BOOM, who obviously has ants in his pants at the moment. Or doesn’t like someone in the peloton, one or the other. Again the peloton let the group dangle, slowly shutting the break down before letting it bow out once again.
Boom and Perez took 1-2 on the first KOM and then both went out the back in unison on the next climb. Vielleux and Kadri were now out front alone before LPTV (Little Plucky Tommy Voeckler) attacked out of the group. Not sure how that helped Villeux though it seemed he was cooked anyway. FDJ weren’t too happy with this move and shut it down before Pierre Rolland attacked, bridged across to Kadri and then took off after the KOM by himself. Fiellu, not to be outdone by another Frenchman, also attacked from the group and went over the KOM with Kadri but soon enough the riders were back together on the descent.
All this time big Marcel Kittel had just totally dropped his bundle and was WAAYYY out the back. One day you are the hammer, the other just a hot looking German bloke with cannons for legs.
Liquigas, BMC and Sky controlled the pace before the group hit the final climb with 13km to go.
Gautier and Flecha went at the bottom of the Salario and soon it was Gautier off by himself. Whether he was playing spoiler for the KOM to ensure Rolland wore the KOM jersey at the end of the day or going for it I’m not too sure, but over the top he was away, with a chasing Froome (?!!!). After almost binning it on the descent he was met with a cross headwind and with 7km to go it was all back together.
But there was no one team willing to take the race by the throat and with all the mucking about Chavanel attacked. Extremely dangerous this close to the end of a stage, 5 other riders sensed the opportunity and bridged. At first the break was fluffing as much as the main group but soon hard old heads prevailed and Chavanel, Fuglsang and Flecha had the break singing like a German band.
The break was sitting at 10 seconds and with plenty of “You roll! No you roll!” in the main group the break could sniff the win. After another bloody dog on the course (Was it the Green Edge bus driver’s dog?) was avoided the stage was set for one of six to wear the yellow jersey that afternoon.
With about 1.8km to go Bakelants went to the front to do his roll and the Euskatel rider Izaguirre just LET THE WHEEL GO??? All of a sudden he had daylight and with everyone looking at Chavanel the rest of the break was doomed.
With a rapidly closing peloton, Carlton Kirby, the Eurosport commentator basically had a conniption on air willing Bakelandts across the line and so he did, throwing his hands in the air with all the energy of a bloke who was truly rooted.
An amazing effort for a young rider with his first professional win. What a place to do it!
Onto the results, and precisely nobody managed to have Bakelandts. Actually, in the history of VeloTipper…nobody has ever tipped Bakelandts. That will no doubt change.
This was never going to be a stage where the Tipping was won, but it was always going to be an excellent stage for losing time. And ooh, did we lose time.. With the final riders finishing nearly 18 minutes down, there is daylight in the tipping peloton.
The highest tipped rider was Sagan, predictably, and nearly everyone backed him. 430 across all competitions, so far more than I can credibly list.
More interestingly, 132 people across all competitions dropped a massive 17 minutes. It’s not good night nurse completely, but the focus has shifted away from GC towards sprint or other disciplines. Stage 2! It is positively Giro-esque.
Onto the Sprint Comp and there are a dozen people on 80 points: William Stokman, Jérémy Pen, Olly Stevens, Neil Christensen, Gary Pickering, Nick Anskey, Serge Krepak, Steel Jones, Koen Marx, Paul Lumsden, Damien Kearney and Richard De Martin.
In the KOM, and there are four people with 5 points on equal first: Aaron Grove, Michael Pettingill, Felicity Caterer and Troy Bryant.
The GC is crowded at the top, as we would expect.
General Classification tipping ladder top 50 after stage 2
|5||Michael Van Bergen||08:40:04||27||0|
|25||Paul L Decker||08:40:04||45||0|
|45||Keely Killeye Samson||08:40:04||25||0|
|47||Paul Le Fevre||08:40:04||9||0|
To view the full CyclingTips competition ladder, click here