Niedersachsen Rundfahrt - Ger - cat. 2.3
stage 2: Einbeck - Wolfsburg, 172,2 km - Olaf Pollack’s Revenge!
After the excitement of yesterdays photo finish in which Thorsten Wilhelms was judged to win the sprint from Olaf Pollack by 4/1000th of a second it did not take the Gerolsteiner man long to get his revenge on Team Coast . The man from Räckelwitz won the mass sprint narrowly ahead of Andre Korff and Steffen Radochla (both team Coast ) . With 25 career victories since turning professional in 1997 with the Agro-Adler team , Olaf has had a frustrating season of second and third places , which yesterdays judges verdict seem to typify - however all that changed today . Not only did Olaf take the stage , but he took both bonus sprints to lead the points competition and since Thorsten Wilhelms had lost contact with the lead group during the climbs he also took the race leaders jersey as well!
"It was a perfect day for Olaf “, explained Gerolsteiner Directeur Sportif Hans Michael Holczer after the stage "Olaf won both bonus Sprints and even before the end of the stage was in virtual yellow. It particularly makes me happy after his numerous second and third places this year, and he was finally recompenced today with his overdue first season victory ".
“ in this sport you do make your own luck , and today luck was finally on our side “ daid a delighted Pollack “ for without the hard work from my team mates todays victory would not have been possible “
The day had started in perfect weather conditions but the surviving 116 riders had to tackle some steep climbs - however Pollack managed to remain in the leading group and won both the bonus sprints in Seesen and Wildemann .Afterwards the Frenchman Olivier Asmaker (CSC Tiscali) launched a solo attack with 90 kilometres to go .Inspite of loosing nearly two minutes when held up by a railway crossing his lead rose to 5.30 minutes . It was Gerolsteiner , CSC and Rabobank who worked at the front to pull the escapee back - but their hard work had an unexpected bonus - over the King of the Mountain ranked Tetzelstein climb race leader Thorsten Wilhelms lost contact .
With the splintered peloton now in full flight the it wasn’t until the last 20 kilometres that the four main groups of racers came back together .Last years winner Grischa Niermann and Laurent Jalabert were always in the picture ( yesterday Jalabert had shown good signs of form opening a small gap on the peloton with five kilometres remaining) . Meanwhile Pollack , who won the sprinters white jersey in 1999 and 2000 , ended up winning everything today .
"Olaf now has a lead of twenty seconds on the General Classification . But this is really nothing at all .Tomorrow there is some serious climbing and the specialists such as Guerini, Niermann and Jalabert have shown today they are in good shape .However if we can get Olaf over the mountains in a good position anything is possible .” said DS Holczer.. “ it has been a peach of a day for the team “
Tomorrows third stage between Wolfsburg and Duderstadt ( 210,4 km ) is considered the king stage of the race There are three Cat 2 climbs , Torfhaus, Altenau/Steile Wand and St. Andreasberg .
Stage 2 Einbeck - Wolfsburg 172,2 km Result
1. Olaf Pollack (All/Gerolsteiner) 4 h. 12:32
2. Andre Korff (All/Team Coast)
3. Steffen Radochla (All/Team Coast)
4. Andre Schulze (All/Team Wiesenhof)
5. David Kopp (All/Team Telekom)
6. Sebastian Siedler (All/BDR Bahn)
7. Andreas Beikirch (All/Team Cologne)
8. Lubor Tesar (Tch/Team Nürnberger)
9. Steven de Jongh (Ned/Rabobank)
10. Michael Giebelmann (All/Wiesenhof) all same time
:General Classification Stage 2
1. Olaf Pollack (All/Gerolsteiner) 8 h. 52:54
2. Steffen Radochla (All/Team Coast) + 20
3. Andre Korff (All/Team Coast) 20
4. Lubor Tesar (Tch/Team Nürnberger) 22
5. Werner Riebenbauer (Aut/Team Nürnberger 22
6. Grischa Niermann (All/Rabobank) 25
7. Torsten Schmidt (All/Gerolsteiner) 25
8. David Kopp (All/Telekom) 26
9. Sebastian Siedler (All/BDR Bahn) 26
10. Andreas Beikirch (All/Team Cologne) 26