The second stage of the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali covered 156 kilometers from Cesenatico to Sogliano al Rubicone. The hilly final made for some interesting racing, especially since rain was one of the main sights of the day. In the end Ben Swift (Sky) dealt best with the conditions, as he beat Matija Kvasina (Felbrmayr-Simplon) and Francesco Bongiorno (Bardiani-CSF) into second and third.
Louis Meintjes was Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung’s best placed finisher in ninth and his performance was good enough to stay in the top10 overall.
An early break was able to built up a lead of around 3 minutes, but was reeled in once the riders reached the final lap. In the peloton overnight GC leader Davide Rebellin (CCC Sprandi) couldn’t hold the wheel of the other overall contenders. On the last climb Ben Swift upped the pace and only a few riders were able to follow the Brit. He later went on to take the stage solo, 41 seconds ahead of Kvasina. Louis Meintjes followed another 30 seconds later.
Alex Sans Vega – Sports Director
It was a hard day in the office today at Coppi e Bartali. It was raining hard from the start and with some strong wind this stage was not easy at all. 7 riders made the break and they were only brought back in the final stages of the race. On the last climb the peloton split into several groups. Louis was able to finish top10. It was a very tough day, but the team showed a good performance again and managed to help Louis staying in contention for the GC. Sunday will be another hard day and we will try to go for the stage win.