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61st Tour de Romandie - Stage 2 Live
 
By Staff
Date: 5/3/2007
61st Tour de Romandie - Stage 2 Live
 

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 mountains.

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) abandons

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 mass sprint.

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 .

 
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