Stage 2 ended with a traditional bunch sprint in Bourg-Saint-Andéol. Juan José Haedo (Saxo Bank) stormed to victory ahead of Martin Reimer (Cervélo) and Grega Bole (Lampre). The five-men breakaway of the day was caught before the final kilometre and Alberto Contador was able to keep his yellow jersey for one more day without any particular worry.
Augé in his favourite role
As often, Stéphane Augé (Cofidis) was the first rider on the attack in the first kilometre. Benoît Vaugrenard (Française des Jeux) was the other Frenchman who tried to escape on two occasions but unsuccessfully. Cyril Gautier (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) passed the Côte de Saint-Jeure-d’Ay in second position after Marco Bandiera (Katusha) in search of the polka dot jersey. It was Augé who eventually found the way to go clear. He did so at km 16 with four other riders: Bram Tankink (Rabobank), Guillaume Bonnafond (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Inaki Isasi (Euskaltel) and Anthony Delaplace (Saur-Sojasun).
Tankink grabs the polka dot jersey
The advantage of the five breakaway riders increased to 8.10 at km 35.5. It was stabilised under 7 minutes later on with an exact difference of 6 minutes at the half way point in the feed zone of Le Moulinon. Tankink and Bonnafond were the most motivated of the breakaway riders for taking KOM points while Delaplace and Augé won the hot spot sprints of Le Cheylard and Privas respectively. Tankink outsprinted Bonnafond at both the col de Moulin-à-Vent and the col de Benas. Consequently, the Dutchman took the lead of the king of the mountains classification.
Juan José Haedo wins the bunch sprint
The time difference between the five escapees and the bunch decreased slowly but surely. With 30km to go, it was 3.25 as John-Lee Augustyn (Sky) came in help to Saxo Bank and Milram in the chase at the head of the peloton. With 20km to go, it hadn’t changed much: 2.55. It went down to 2 minutes with 15km to go. The courageous men in the lead got caught only 1.1km before the finishing.
The Sky team pulled the sprint with Edvald Boasson Hagen accelerating under the red flag of the last kilometre. Russell Downing took over with green jersey Geraint Thomas on his wheel but Juan José Haedo (Saxo Bank) jumped on the left side of the road, as the wind was blowing from the right. The Argentine was followed by yesterday’s stage winner Grega Bole (Lampre) who came 3rd while German champion Martin Reimer (Cervélo) finished 2nd.
Alberto Contador keeps the yellow jersey prior to the individual time trial of stage 3 from Monteux to Sorgues.
To say the truth, it’s been a great battle, not only for the last 50 kilometres. My team has done an impressive work to lead me out for the sprint. The best was to finish the job with a win. I found the space to pass them all. It’s a reward to the team that worked the best.
1. Juan José Haedo (Saxo Bank)
2. Martin Reimer (Cervélo)
3. Grega Bole (Lampre)
4. Sébastien Chavanel (Française des Jeux)
5. Roger Kluge (Milram)
Alberto Contador keeps the yellow jersey.
Haedo (Saxo Bank) wins the bunch sprint.
Boasson Hagen pulls the sprint for Thomas with 1km to go.
Delaplace tries his luck but the peloton comes close.
The Astana team rides at the first part of the bunch. Contador wants to stay out of trouble.