Stage 2 of the Tour of Britain saw the peloton race through the scenic region of Lancashire. Three categorized climbs on the 160 kilometers from Clitheroe to Colne made for some aggressive racing.
MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung tried to play it smart and put its cards to play in the finale with Serge Pauwels and Edvald Boasson Hagen. The Norwegian national road race champion finished 3rd in the end, behind Juan Lobato (Movistar) and solo winner Petr Vakoc (Etixx-QuickStep).
The race started of fast with local rider Peter Williams (One) trying to get away alone. He was joined by Alex Dowsett (Movistar) after a good couple of kilometers into the race. The duo’s lead hovered around 4 minutes but was quickly brought down, when the peloton increased its pace.
Within the last 50 kilometers racing took a turn. The peloton split into three groups, with yesterdays winner Elia Viviani (Sky) being dropped. At the front end a group with Serge and eventual winner Vakoc took of. The built up a small lead and looked like they were making it to the finish. In the end it was the Czech national road race champion though that surprised his companions with a solo attack more than 15 kilometers from the finish.
He managed to hold onto his lead, whild the group behind him were caught. Edvald proofed to be on form and finished third on the uphill run-in to Colne. He also moved into the same position in the overall.
The result tastes bittersweet though. Reinardt Janse van Rensburg came down hard. He finished the stage but had to be taken to hospital. Further check-ups revealed no serious injuries.