The 2nd stage at the Coppi e Bartali was again another reason for Team Sky to celebrate as Peter Kennaugh would take out the races queen stage. Francesco Bongiorno (Bardiani) was 2nd and Matteo Rabottini (Neri Sottoli) finished 3rd.
Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung had its own reason to celebrate as Jacques Janse van Rensburg got into the days main break with 7 other riders. Janse van Rensburg would prove to be the strongest rider in the break as he went on to claim the majority of the KOM points, hoping to pull on the leaders’ jersey in the mountains competitions. Unfortunately the organisers made a mistake at the first GPM and without proof of the result, they decided to cancel all points from the first GPM.
Janse van Rensburg and his breakaway companions would ride clear of the peloton after just less than an hour of racing. The 8 riders would press open a 3 minute lead but Bardiani were intent on putting the race leader Ben Swift (Team Sky) under pressure on the climbs and set a high tempo in the peloton. As the gap to the break was reduced, Janse van Rensburg attacked his counterparts to lead the race solo. On the penultimate ascent of the Ville di Monte Tiffi Janse van Rensburg was finally caught.
Directeur Sportif – Manel Lacambra
“I am happy with how the team raced today. We were in all the early breaks and finally around the km 40, Jacques went with the good one. He tried to win the mountain jersey and we just missed out on a technicality. He did an excellent race and was the last men to be caught from the break. Team Sky caught him just 2km from the top of the mountain that would have given him the jersey as a certainty. At the final our young climbers did all they can.
We still need to remember that this is a young team from Africa and today was the third race for them in Europe this year. This may sound crazy but yesterday was the first TTT ever for Merhawi Kudus.
I love the attitude of this riders and I am happy with them. They are racing well and this is the first step. If we continue like this the good results will come for sure.
Tomorrow is a sprinters day and we can’t do much with the roster we have here. We will try to focus on the last hard TT and see what we can do there.”
Stage 3 – Crevalcore > Crevalcore (158.4km)
An undulataing circuit of 13.2km’s that will be raced 11 times
Stage 4 – Pavullo > Castello di Montecuccolo (10km) Individual Time Trial
A short but lumpy time trial the ends with a 1km climb up to the line
Staff: Manel Lacambra (Directeur Sportif), Bastian Buffel (Soigneur), Paolo Baldi (Soigneur), Daniele Nieri (Mechanic), Andreas Beck-Watt (Mechanic)