Route du Sud: Nicolas Roche takes race lead by climbing to victory on stage two

Last Updated: 21/06/14 6:03pm

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Nicolas Roche claimed his first win of the season

Nicolas Roche claimed his first win of the season

Sky Bet

Ireland’s Nicolas Roche moved into the overall lead of the Route du Sud in France after climbing to a solo victory on stage two.

The Tinkoff-Saxo rider surged clear of his rivals on the ascent to the summit finish at Val Louron and won by 45 seconds. Team-mate Mick Rogers was second and and Alejandro Valverde third.

It was Roche's first win of the season and he now takes over from Jesus Herrada at the top of the general classification, 45 seconds in front of second-placed Valverde, with Rogers four seconds further back in third.

Roche said: "It was a super-tough stage today, with many of the climbs you will normally see in the Tour [de France] and a strong competition to make it even more difficult. But we managed to pull it of today. It confirms that I have recovered after the Giro [d'Italia] and that I’m ready for the Tour."

Elsewhere in Europe on Saturday, Philippe Gilbert moved back into the leader’s jersey at the Ster ZLM Toer in the Netherlands by winning stage four.

At the Tour of Slovenia, Tiago Machado took the overall race lead after finishing second on stage three behind Francesco Bongiorno, who claimed his first win of the season. 

Route du Sud stage two result

1 Nicolas Roche (Ire) Tinkoff-Saxo, 5:17:04
2 Mick Rogers (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo, +45secs
3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar, st
4 Kenny Elissonde (Fra) FDJ, st
5 Merhawi Kudus (Eri) MTN-Qhubeka, st
6 Stephane Rossetto (Fra) BigMat-Auber 93, st
7 Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Team Sky, st
8 David Arroyo (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, +1:15
9 Ian Boswell (USA) Team Sky, st
10 Julien Berard (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale, st

Route du Sud general classification

1 Nicolas Roche (Ire) Tinkoff-Saxo, 9:39:07
2 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar, +45secs
3 Mick Rogers (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo, +49
4 Stephane Rossetto (Fra) BigMat-Auber 93, +55
5 Merhawi Kudus (Eri) MTN-Qhubeka, st
6 Kenny Elissonde (Fra) FDJ, st
7 Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Team Sky, st
8 David Arroyo (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, +1:25
9 Ian Boswell (USA) Team Sky, +1:32
10 Julien Berard (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale, +1:49

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