Tour of Murcia 2010 stage two photo gallery>>

Robbie Hunter (Garmin-Transitions) successfully defended his overall lead in the Tour of Murcia in Spain by making it two out of two stage wins on Thursday.

In a carbon copy of Wednesday’s stage one podium positions, Hunter won the bunch gallop ahead of Graeme Brown (Rabobank) in second and Vicente Reynes (HTC-Columbia) in third.

Britain’s Ian Wilkinson (Endura) again placed inside the top ten, coming home in a creditable eighth and moving up to sixth overall. Endura’s Alexandre Blain also finished in the top five, defending his intermediate sprinter’s blue jersey.

Stage two featured two passes of the first category Alto de San Juan climb, and was perfect for an escape group to have a dig. And sure enough, on the first visit to San Juan climb a group did break away but its time advantage was kept in check by Bradley Wiggins’ Team Sky. It was a clear signal of Wiggins’ hopes for overall victory.

As most of the escape were subsequently swallowed up, Sergey Lagutin (Vacansoleil) went solo and managed to keep the baying pack at arm’s length on the second ascent of San Juan, but he too was caught in the final 10km. The bunch was then back together for the race’s second successive sprint showdown.

One last drama was to affect Britain’s Wiggins – he had to stop to change a wheel in the final 5km, but safely regained contact to finish in a group with the other overall contenders five seconds back from Hunter.

Friday’s third stage is a 166.5km jaunt from Las Torres de Cotillas to Alhama de Murcia. The stage features one third and two first category climbs, the last of which – the 1,150m Alto del Collado Bermejo – is 33km from the finish. Thereafter it’s downhill all the way, giving the overall favourites and their teams a chance to nullify any dangerous attacks.

Saturday’s stage four individual time trial is likely to be the deciding factor in the race. Britain’s Wiggins ranks as one of the favourites to win the pan-flat 22km test against the clock, and therefore the overall classification. 

RESULTS

Tour of Murcia 2010: Stage two


1. Robbie Hunter (RSA) Garmin-Transitions

2. Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank

3. Vicente Reynes (Spa) HTC-Columbia

4. Alexandre Blain (Fra) Endura

5. Daniel Schorn (Ger) Team NetApp

6. Frantisek Rabon (Cze) HTC-Columbia

7. Michel Kreder (Ned) Garmin-Transitions

8. Ian Wilkinson (GBr) Endura

9. Josep Jufre (Spa) Astana

10. Daryl Impey (RSA) RadioShack all same time.

British/Other

31. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Team Sky at 5secs

35. Lance Armstrong (USA) RadioShack at 5secs

38. Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank at 5secs

42. Evan Oliphant (GB) Endura at 5secs

44. Rob Partridge (GB) Endura at 5secs

66. James Moss (GB) Endura at 22secs

86. Ross Creber (GB) Endura at 18-09

87. Russell Downing (GB) Team Sky at 18-09

103. Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky at 18-09

Overall classification after stage two

1. Robbie Hunter (RSA) Garmin-Transitions in 8-35-52

2. Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank

3. Vicente Reynes (Spa) HTC-Columbia

4. Daniel Schorn (Aut) Team NetApp

5. Daryl Impey (RSA) RadioShack

6. Ian Wilkinson (GB) Endura

7. Michal Golas (Pol) Vacansoleil

8. Alexandre Blain (Fra) Endura

9. Josep Jufre (Spa) Astana

10. Luke Roberts (Aus) Milram all same time.

British/Other

24. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Team Sky at 5secs

27. Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank at 5secs

32. Lance Armstrong (USA) RadioShack at 5secs

49. Evan Oliphant (GB) Endura at 43secs

55. Rob Partridge (GB) Endura at 2-53

70. James Moss (GB) Endura at 8-07

78. Russell Downing (GB) Team Sky at 18-09

83. Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky at 18-09

96. Ross Creber (GB) Endura at 25-55

Jason McCartney escape, Tour of Murcia 2010 stage 2



RadioShack’s Jason McCartney heads the escape group

 

Team Sky chase, Tour of Murcia 2010, stage 2



Team Sky help to chase down the escape

Bradley Wiggins, Tour of Murcia 2010, stage 2

Sky leader Bradley Wiggins looked comfortable on the day’s two big climbs

Garmin control the pace, Tour of Murcia 2010, stage 2



Garmin take control for race leader Robbie Hunter

Robbie Hunter wins stage 2, Tour of Murcia 2010



Robbie Hunter wins stage two of the Tour of Murcia

Related links



Stage one: Hunter wins Murcia opener



Tour of Murcia 2010, stage one photo gallery by Graham Watson



Tour of Murcia 2010 preview

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