New Zealander Jack Bauer launched a successful last-minute surge to take stage two of the Tour of Utah in Provo, USA, on Thursday for the British-based Endura Racing Team.

Bauer took the established sprinters by surprise in the six-day, UCI 2.1-ranked race to take the win. Italian Elia Viviani (Liquigas-Cannondale) brought the rest of the bunch home, with Jacob Keough (United Healthcare) in third.

Bauer’s British team-mate Scott Thwaites placed a creditable eighth in a race that includes ProTeam-level squads Radioshack, Liquigas-Cannondale, HTC-Highroad, BMC Racing and Garmin-Cervelo

“It was an awesome day really,” said former New Zealnad road race champion Bauer after his stage win. “We had worked out it would be a sprint night before and we were ready for it. [Scott] Thwaitsey or myself were to finish it off.

“Alex took the speed right up to 800m and I got a gap. I knew lads where all rowed up behind so just committed. The lads did a great job. I’m looking forward to the TT tomorrow, it looks like it will suit me and Alex [Wetterhall], so we will see what happens.”

Sergio Henao of the Colombian Gobernacion De Antioquia-Indeportes Antio squad leads overall with three stages remaining. Henao’s team-mate Oscar Sevilla is second at seven seconds, with defending champion Levi Leipheimer (Radioshack) in third at 13 seconds.

Endura currently lie second in the team competition behind Liquigas-Cannondale.

The 2011 Tour of Utah concludes on Sunday, August 14.

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