61st Tour de Romandie - Stage 2 Live
The road goes up today as Astana protects the lead of Paolo Savoldelli
Stage 2 La Chaux-de-Fonds - Lucens 166.9 km.
Stage 2 is a stage from La-Chaux-de-Fonds to Lucens over 167 km. Sylvain
Calzati (Ag2r), Michael Rogers (T-Mobile) and Tadej Valjavec (Lampre) didn't
start. There were some early attacks in the beginning of today's stage, but
without success. Nicolas Crosbie (Bouygues Telecom) attacked after about 65 km
in the race and he has now about 6 minutes on the bunch.
16:30 CET - We join the race in progress
with Milram leading the chase, with 50 km to go Crosbie has minutes on the
peloton. Crosbie is 27 years old of age and is 107th in the ranking at almost 4
minutes back and is the virtual race leader on the road at the moment.
Milram and Euskatel have joined forces at the front and its having an effect
as the gap comes down to 8:30 in the last 5 kms.
Astana has control of the race, they ride behind the chasing Milram and
Euskaltel boys. Crosbie is no threat for the final victory. In the mountains he
will lost a lot of minutes so it's no problem for them if Crosbie takes the
jersey with 3/4 minutes; the GC contenders can take those minutes back in the
16:42 CET - 40 km to go, The gap is down
to 7:55 now while Euskaltel and Milram still working well at the front. But they
have to chase very hard to chase down Crosbie. There will be a climb of about 2
km in the final but still it will be a hard job catch the lone rider to set up a
sprint for the stage victory.
38 km to go - 6.30 the gap, I think it's
over for Crosbie. If they will attack in the bunch he will be caught in the
final especially with the Cat 2 climb of col de Thierrens. Crosbie crossed the
finish line with a local lap of 33 km to go including that cat 2 climb. If
Crosbie can stay away he will have 24 kms to the finish in Lucens.
Milram and Euskatel still press the chase with Astana in attendance as the
gap comes down another minute to the brave solo effort by Crosbie at 5:10.
Rabobank's Jan Boven abandons the race.
Meanwhile in Spain in today Asturias race the riders are in their final km
Angel Vicioso (Relax) wins the 1st stage in the Asturias.
Back to Romandie. A crash in the peloton takes down Timothy Gudsell (La FDJ).
Gudsell has to abandon the race. Crosbie looks to be suffering as he ploughs on
with 4:15 the gap now.
17:03 CET - 28 km to go, Crosbie has
started the final climb a 2km long affair with an average gradient of 6.7%.
Crunch time for Crosbie expect late attacks for the victory with 24 kms to the
finish mostly down hill.
1 km to the top and the gap down to 3.40, Crobie struggles to maintain his
gap. The chasing peloton is on the climb as well. Euskaltel leading the pace for
Anton, Zubeldia, Txurruka or other Galparsoros. JosÚ Luis Arrieta (Ag2r)
Crosbie is on top of the cat 2 climb now. It's 24 km from here to the finish
line. But the climbing is not over they have to ride on a plateau now for a
while before the descent into Lucens.
The bunch is on top of the cat 2 climb now. Brochard is 2nd and Facci 3rd.
The gap to Crosbie is down to 2.10.
17:15 CET - 23 km to go, the gap is
coming down fast to l:55, it doesn't look good for Crosbie at this point. Geert
Verheyen (Quick Step) and Andreas Dietziker (LPR) in the counter attack.
Verheyen and Dietziker are denied by the peloton and caught, while the gap of
Crosbie is down to 1.17. Euskatel lead the chase for Crosbie.
20 km to go - the gap .1.00 Jussi
Veikkanen (La FDJ), the champion of Finland attacks and gets a gap, Veikkanen is
in good form, he tried his luck as well in yesterdays stage but without success.
18 km to go, the situation: Crosbie leads
with 26 sec on Veikkanen and 45 sec on the bunch. Credit Agricole joins
Euskaltel in the lead of the peloton it looks as if the race is being primed for
a bunch sprint.
Crosbie caught by Veikkanen, Crosbie tries to latch on but Veikkanen and
drops him immediately. The peloton is breathing absorbs Crosbie and pulls the
Finnish champion in as well shortly after.
More attacks now... 7 riders get a gap their gap is short lived and Cristian
Moreni (Cofidis) counter attacks, but he too gives up the effort and we have the
peloton back together with 15 kms to go.
17:30 CET - 12 km to go, Attack by
Rigoberto Uran (Unibet) but its a short escape and he too is chased down by
Euskatel and Credit Agricole led mob.
8 km to go, the riders charge down a
descent with the speed kept high at the front by Credit Agircole, Astana and
Euskatel discouraging breaks. The teams are set on a group finish.
7 km to go: bunch all together
5 km: Astana leads the bunch; attack from Stef Clement (Bouygues) but didn't
take long and he was brought back.
Due to the wind and descent the bunch broke in several parts. 1km to go.
There is a crash with 300 metres to go with Duque, Millar and Ten Dam.
40 riders in the lead group as they approached the finish line setting up a
Avery tight sprint.. but in the end the NOT surprising winner is ...
ROBBIE MC EWEN!!
The Aussie took the win in a sprint finish marred by a pile-up involving
several riders. In fact such pile-up, that it split the group of 40
in two, with just about 15 guys left in the first half and able to compete for
the stage victory. And Rockin' Robbie just rocked once more in Lucens.
Borut Bozic of Slovenia took second in the sprint, with the Italian Enrico
Gasparotto, the Kiwi Julian Dean and Switzerland's own Elmiger filling the other
top five spots today.
Top Ten Provisional Result
1. Robbie McEwen
2. Borut Bo×ic
3. Enrico Gasparotto
4. Julian Dean
5. Martin Elmiger
6. Greg Henderson
7. Igor Abakoumov
8. Aitor Galdos
9. Mirko Lorenzetto
10. Markus Fothen
Paolo Savoldelli remains in the yellow jersey of Race leader.
Results and photos to follow .