– Reported by Chris Gutowsky of VeloSport Vacations. Chris is calling the ‘official’ action as it happens for the race organizers – and shares his adventures of the day as a special feature for PEZ .
Despite letting a day-long breakaway go, overall leader Daniele Contrini of Tinkoff Credit Systems never looked to have his lead threatened, as his team did their fair share of the work to keep the race together over the 135 miles of racing.
Wide open places…
Clocktower Hill also hosted the 1st United Community Bank KOM line of the race, with points given on the first ascension just after the entree onto the finishing circuits after the long day of headwind racing. Priority Health’s Ben Jacques-Maynes timed his effort well to take the 4th Category points just clear of the field, scoring the first mountain leader’s jersey of the tour.
The 20-25mph steady headwinds that greeted the riders at the 11am start seemed sure to dull the day’s racing edge. But following an initial half-hour of easy warm-up, the attacks began. After several efforts, Jittery Joe’s Austin King soloed clear, dangling off the front for 5-6 miles before welcome help arrived in the form of Priority Health’s Gary “Peloton” Peltonen and Glen Alan Chadwick (Navigators), a long breakaway specialist of sorts.
Jittery Joe’s Austin King made up 1/3 of today’s long, long early break…hope it was fun.
Once the three were together and a minute clear, the field gave up the chase and immediately went from single file to massed across the road. Ahead, the threesome chugged along into the headwind, trying to ignore the distance that remained, while steadily building their lead. The 1st Maxxis Intermediate Sprint at mile mark 45 in in Newnan provided a brief distraction, with Chadwick easily taking the points and a $1000 bonus in front of a great crowd.
The lead reached it’s maximum of 8+ minutes at mid-race and stabilized there, as the field slowly accellerated. By the 2nd sprint in Rockmart, handily taken again by Chadwick, the gap was down to less than six minutes. The brief surge for the points dropped Peltonen, while King gamely matched pulls with the stronger Chadwick. But the rolling roads on the run-in to Rome took their toll and with the lead down under two minutes and some five miles to go to the city limits, Chadwick went it alone, finally succumbing just before the entree to the final circuit.
Toyota’s Ivan Stevic made the perfect move to take Stage 2 – and his biggest win yet.
Following the surge for the mountain points and a series of high-speed attacks, the initial lead-out trains looked to be setting up the expected sprint, when Stevic’s attack seemed to take everyone by surprise. With the first two stages taken by non-ProTour teams, there may be more surprises in store on tomorrows 118 mile stage from Rome to Chattanooga, which includes four categorized climbs and the first difficult terrain of the race.
Notes & Nonsense
– The sunny day seemed to bring out plenty of on-the-loose pups, primed for the annual “gladiator” style matches with the motor-marshal corps stuck with animal-control duty. It’s doubtful many dogs have faced a human with a full-face helmet, leathers, and a duty to keep a pack of riders safe and sound. Today’s dog-human combat in Polk county featured a hound mix vs a mid-size marshall; no reports at this time on who won.
– Newnan, GA was the host of today’s quasi-official, double-top secret espresso-stop for any/all caravan vehicles. A special thank-you to the South African barista and the raucous crowd who provided directions. If you’ve never seen the Newnan historic district or gorgeous courthouse, stop and take a look-see.
– No kidding; one of the most dangerous intersections on the course was made difficult by a series of of very large Botz dots, those metal discs used as lane dividers (see Crashes, cause-of, Santa Rosa, CA). A unknown voice on one of the TdG radio channels called the dots, “big city titties,”. No comment.
Stage 2 RESULTS
1. Ivan Stevic (SCG), Toyota United, 5:35:27
2. Haedo Juan Josй (ARG), CSC, 5:35:29
3. Fred Rodriguez (USA), Predictor-Lotto
4. Sergey Lagutin (UZB), Navigators Insurance
5. Alessandro Proni (I), Quick Step-Innergetic
6. Levi Leipheimer (USA), Discovery Channel
7. Charles Dionne (CAN), Colavita Olive Oil
8. Rory Sutherland (Aus), Health Net Maxxis
9. David Canada Gracia (Sp), Saunier Duval
10. Thomas Danielson (USA), Discovery Channel
11. George Hincapie (USA), Discovery Channel
12. Jason Donald (USA), Slipstream-Chipotle
13. Ryder Hesjedal (CAN), Health Net Maxxis
14. David Zabriskie (USA), CSC
15. David Millar (GB), Saunier Duval, 5:35:32
GENERAL CLASSIFICATION After Stage 2
1. Daniele Contrini (I), Tinkoff Credit Systems, 8:59:43
2. Douglas Ollerenshaw (USA), Health Net Maxxis, 9:00:12
3. Ben Day (Aus), Navigators Insurance, 9:00:21
4. Ivan Stevic (SCG), Toyota United, 9:00:50
5. Haedo Juan Josй (ARG), CSC, 9:00:56
6. Fred Rodriguez (USA), Predictor-Lotto, 9:00:58
7. Sergey Lagutin (UZB), Navigators Insurance, 9:01:02
8. Alessandro Proni (I), Quick Step-Innergetic, 9:01:02
9. Ryder Hesjedal (CAN), Health Net Maxxis, 9:01:02
10. Levi Leipheimer (USA), Discovery Channel, 9:01:02
Today’s race report provided by Chris Gutowsky of VeloSport Vacations. Check em out for some great ideas for your next cycling trip. For more information, contact VeloSport Vacations at P.O. Box 1235, Bloomington, IN 47402, 800-988-9833, www.VeloVacations.com