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60th Tour of Austria - Stage 2
 
By Fabio
Date: 7/9/2008
60th Tour of Austria - Stage 2
 

The main contenders for the overall victory showed up for the first time in Tuesday's stage two of the 60th Oesterreich Rundfhart, starting in Italy's Toblach/Dobbiaco and with the mountaintop finish on Kitzbüheler Horn, back into territory of Austrian Tyrol, after close to 170 kilometres. The 23-year-old Chris Anker Sørensen (Denmark - Team CSC) was the winner of the battle as he crossed the line a dozen seconds clear of Elk Haus own Thomas Rohregger, with Ruslan Pidgornyy (Team LPR Brakes-Ballan) of Ukraine coming in 27" back.

Earlier in the stage another Ukrainian, young talent Dimytro Grabovskyy of Quick Step, shared the limelight with the Canadian Michael Barry (Team Columbia). The two guys broke away after 40 kilometres and put up to 13'40" into the field. But the terrible Kitzbüheler Horn (7.5 kilometres, gradients up to 20 percent) was too though for the leading pair: Barry and Grabovskyy were reeled in after 140 kilometres, albeit the former managed to secure a solid sixth-place finish

Then a new portion of the stage began, with the Kitzbüheler slopes tearng the peloton apart and last year's stage winner Thomas Rohregger, vying for his second straight triumph on this mountain giant, on the attack. Sørensen followed his move and fought off any attempt to drop him by the more accomplished Austrian. In the end it was the Scandinavian that made the gap, dropping Rohregger, Pidgornyy and fourth-place getter Gusev off his wheels, and claiming his second victory after he opened his account in the sixth (and queen) stage of Dauphine Libere just a few weeks ago.

"This morning we'd agreed that Chris Anker was going to be captain for the day because he seemed the strongest and had the biggest chance of winning this stage. It was great for him to show that his victory in Dauphiné Libéré wasn't just a one-off," said Team CSC Saxo Bank sports director Torsten Schmidt after the stage.

Sørensen, who was told about the hardships of such climb by his brother, who had challenged the Kitzbüheler Horn in the past, also grabbed the yellow jersey with a 16-second advantage on Tuesday's runner-up and the Team LPR leader trailing him by 33". But the guy, not the best TT specialist around, downplayed his chances at winning the overall and chose Rohregger as number one fav to win the race. At his turn, the man from the "home side" downplayed his own chances and said that Pidgornyy, a good TTist who has improved his climbing skills, is his own pick for the eventual victory.

Whether it will be Pidgornyy, Rohregger, the same Sørensen or anyone else is something we'll start to know Wednesday, the day of another demanding journey over the Alps, the real "queen stage" from Kitzbühel to Prägraten over 183.7 kilometres, with the mighty Grossglockner, the highest peak in the race, to be climbed in between.

Stage 2 (Toblach to Kitzbüheler Horn, 169.6 km): Top 20 Places
1. SÖRENSEN, Chris (Den - TEAM CSC) - 04h19'00" (Time Bonus: 10")
2. ROHREGGER, Thomas (Aut - ELK HAUS ) - at 12" (06")
3. PIDGORNYY, Ruslan (Ukr - LPR BRAKES ) - at 27 (04")
4. GUSEV, Vladimir (Rus - ASTANA) - at 29"
5. CARUSO, Giampaolo (Ita - FLAMINIA-BOSSINI) - at 01'29"
6. BARRY, Michael (Can - TEAM COLUMBIA) - at 01'43" (06")
7. REBELLIN, Davide (Ita - GEROLSTEINER) - at 01'43"
8. SEELDRAYERS, Kevin (Bel - QUICK STEP) - at 02'07"
9. BRAJKOVIC, Janez (Slo - ASTANA) - at 02'21"
10. PEDRAZA, Walter (Col - TINKOFF) - at 02'44"
11. GOLCER, Jure (Slo - LPR BRAKES) - at 02'44"
12. STALDER, Florian (Swi - TEAM VOLKSBANK) - at 02'46"
13. FREI, Thomas (Swi - ASTANA) - at 02'50"
14. EFIMKIN, Alexander (Rus - QUICK STEP) - at 02'58"
15. PICHLER, Michael (Aut - RC ARBÖ) - at 03'01"
16. TRAMPUSCH, Gerhard (Aut - ELK HAUS) - at 03'09"
17. LLOYD, Matthew (Aus - SILENCE-LOTTO) - at 03'13"
18. MOSER, Leonardo (Ita - DIQUIGIOVANNI-ANDRONI) - at 03'16"
19. GOTTFRIED, Alex (Ger - TINKOFF) - at 03'26"
20. RUSS, Matthias (Ger - GEROLSTEINER) - at 03'35"

* Complete stage results here (pdf file)

60th Tour of Austria - GC after Stage 2: Top 20 Places
1. SÖRENSEN, Chris (Den - TEAM CSC) - 08h41'04"
2. ROHREGGER, Thomas (Aut - ELK HAUS ) - at 16"
3. PIDGORNYY, Ruslan (Ukr - LPR BRAKES) - at 27"
4. GUSEV, Vladimir (Rus - ASTANA) - at 39"
5. CARUSO, Giampaolo (Ita - FLAMINIA-BOSSINI) - at 01'39"
6. REBELLIN, Davide (Ita - GEROLSTEINER) - at 01'49"
7. SEELDRAYERS, Kevin (Bel - QUICK STEP) - at 02'17"
8. BRAJKOVIC, Janez (Slo - ASTANA) - at 02'31"
9. BARRY, Michael (Can - TEAM COLUMBIA) - at 02'32"
10. GOLCER, Jure (Slo - LPR BRAKES) - at 02'54"
11. PEDRAZA, Walter (Col - TINKOFF) - at 02'54"
12. STALDER, Florian (Swi - TEAM VOLKSBANK) - at 02'56"
13. FREI, Thomas (Swi - ASTANA) - at 03'00"
14. EFIMKIN, Alexander (Rus - QUICK STEP) - at 03'08"
15. TRAMPUSCH, Gerhard (Aut - ELK HAUS) - at 03'19"
16. MOSER, Leonardo (Ita - DIQUIGIOVANNI-ANDRONI) - at 03'26"
17. RUSS, Matthias (Ger - GEROLSTEINER) - at 03'45"
18. PICHLER, Michael (Aut - RC ARBÖ) - at 03'56"
19. LLOYD, Matthew (Aus - SILENCE-LOTTO) - at 04'08"
20. GOTTFRIED, Alex (Ger - TINKOFF) - at 04'21"

* Full GC after Stage 2 here (pdf file)

Points: 1. PIDGORNYY, Ruslan (Ukr - LPR BRAKES) - 16 p.
* (Full standings here - pdf file)

Mountains: 1. CARUSO, Giampaolo (Ita - FLAMINIA-BOSSINI) - 22 p.
* (Full standings here - pdf file)

Teams: 1. ASTANA - 26h09'22"
* (Full standings here - pdf file)

* 60th Tour of Austria - Prologue & Stage 1


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