There were two winners at the Tour DoonHame’s second stage: one was Johnny McEvoy (Motorpoint), the other was the residents of Castle Douglas.
Today’s result left the tour’s overall contest very finely balanced, and when the race finishes there tomorrow, Castle Dounglas is likely to witness the decisive moments.
It was with a speeding, sprinting peloton that today’s stage finished. McEvoy made it first to the line, with Zak Dempster (Rapha-Condor-Sharp) in second and Magnus Backstedt (UK Youth) in third.
“I’ve come third and fourth quite a bit recently so I’m really pleased to get a win,” McEvoy told Cycling Weekly. “It was a bit of a crazy finish. Rapha were leading out. I came round the last corner just inside Graham Briggs, managed to get round him and took it from there.”
The skies seemed to want to make up for their cruelty on the first stage. The sun shone down on the race, and with a parcours that only included two category three climbs, a bunch finish was never really in doubt.
Dean Downing (Rapha-Condor-Sharp) and James Williamson (Sigma Sport) had shot up the road early on, and were later joined initially by Maarten de Jonge (Endura) and then by five others. They were caught inside the last ten miles.
Ian Bibby (Motorpoint) had a bold stab, attacking with two kilometres metres to go. He looked strong, but was caught as the bunch surged forward.
Team Raleigh drove the front of the peloton all day, defending stage one winner Matt Cronshaw’s yellow jersey.
“My team were fantastic today,” said Cronshaw. “They rode really strongly – from kilometre one they were on the front, so hopefully there’ll be no problems tomorrow. Another bunch sprint seems more than likely tomorrow, although Endura and some of the other teams will want to finish with a smaller group.”
The tour will come to a head tomorrow with little between the top overall contenders. Two seconds separate Zak Dempster (Rapha-Condor-Sharp) and Cronshaw at the top of the overall standings, with Jack Bauer (Endura) sitting a further nine seconds back.
With two category three and one category two climb, all coming in the first two thirds of the stage, it looks likely that the bonus seconds allocated to the top three stage finishers will be decisive. This may play into the hands of Dempster, who has displayed excellent form in recent outings.
Backstedt holds the green points jersey by two points, with Bauer leading the king of the mountains classification, having consolidated his lead and stretched it to seven points today.
Tour DoonHame 2011, stage 2, Dumfries-Dumfries, 81miles
1. Johnny McEvoy (Motorpoint)
2. Zak Dempster (Rapha-Condor-Sharp)
3. Magnus Backstedt (Team UK Youth)
4. Marcel Six (Twenty3c-Orbea)
5. Chris Opie (Pendragon-LeCol-Colnago)
6. Matt Cronshaw (Team Raleigh)
7. Tobyn Horton (Motorpoint)
8. Simon Gaywood (Corley Cycles-Cervelo)
9. Graham Briggs (Rapha-Condor-Sharp)
10. Yanto Barker (Pendragon-LeCol-Colnago) all at st
General Classification standings after stage 2
1. Matt Cronshaw (Team Raleigh)
2. Zak Dempster (Rapha-Condor-Sharp) at 2 secs
3. Jack Bauer (Endura) at 11 secs
4. Yanto Barker (Pendragon-LeCol-Colnago) at 15 secs
5. Steve Lampier (Sigma Sport)
6. Matt Higgins (Corley Cycles-Cervelo)
7. Ian Bibby (Motorpoint) all at st
8. Simon Richardson (Sigma Sport) at 20 secs
9. Alex Wetterhall (Endura) at 1 min 7 secs
10. Scott Thwaites (Endura) E at 1 min 9 secs
McEvoy celebrates with arms aloft
Yellow jersey-clad Cronshaw sits behind his Raleigh teammates
Picture-postcard scenery surrounds the riders as they climb the Dalveen Pass