Andre Greipel (Omega Pharma-Lotto) won the second stage of the Eneco Tour this afternoon, adding to his first-stage victory yesterday.
The German sprinter beat Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Cervelo) and Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky) to the line in a bunch sprint. He won by a length after hanging behind Farrar and Boasson Hagen in the lead-out and kicking past them after the last corner.
Team Sky were prominent in the final kilometers working for Boasson Hagen and, although Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) in particular did well in delivering him to the finish, he was boxed-in at the decisive moment and was unable to fully unleash his sprint.
The run-in was not completely straightforward for the race’s sprinters – strong crosswinds forced a split in the peloton with forty kilometers to go. Although the group came together again, when the break was caught with twenty-two kilometers remaining the bigger teams had to work hard to keep the pace high and prevent attacks.
Young American Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing) kept the leader’s jersey which he won in the prologue on Monday, finishing the stage sixth.
With bonus seconds allocated to the top finishers on each stage, Boasson Hagen closed the gap to him and now lies in second overall – three seconds back. Briton David Millar (Garmin-Cervelo) lies in third five seconds further down.
Tomorrow’s stage heads from Heers to Ardennes over 191.2km, with a more hilly parcours than today’s.
Eneco Tour stage 2 result: Aarlter-Ardooie
1. André Greipel (Ger) Omega Pharma-Lotto
2. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Cervelo
3. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Sky
4. Jean-Pierre Drucker (Luxembourg) VWA
5. Baden Cooke (Aus) SBS
6. Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC
7. Tom Veelers (Neth) Skil-Shimano
8. Grega Bole (Slo) Lampre
9. Michael Van Staeyan (Bel) TSV
10. Mark Renshaw (Australia) HTC-Highroad
General Classification after stage 2
1. Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC
2. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Sky at 3 secs
3. David Millar (GBr) Garmin-Cervelo at 8 secs
4. Alex Rasmussen (Den) HTC-Highroad 9 secs
5. André Greipel (Ger) Omega Pharma-Lotto
6. Lars Boom (Neth) Rabobank both at 10 secs
Geraint Thomas gets some assistance
Sam Bewley heads the escape group
Christian Knees chases
Andre Greipel takes his second consecutive stage win
Taylor Phinney remains in the overall lead