Heado sprints to victory
Gretch stays top of the general classification
Last Updated: June 17, 2011 7:09pm
Haedo: Fastest finisher in Holland
Juan José Haedo sprinted to victory on the second stage of Ster Elektrotoer.
The Saxo Bank-Sungard rider muscled his way into the thick of the action after a late breakaway had been caught inside the final kilometre and then proved the fastest finisher in the long drag to the line ahead of Giacomo Nizzolo (Leopard Trek) and Anthony Roux (FDJ).
The bunch sprint also ensured there were no significant changes in the general classification so Patrick Gretsch (HTC-Highroad) maintained his four-second advantage over Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Cervelo), with Team Sky’s Alex Dowsett just two seconds further adrift in third.
The 202km trek was the lumpiest yet and included five short, sharp ‘bergs’ which have come to characterise racing in the Ardennes.
Cederic Pineau (FDJ), Steven Van Vooren (Topsport Vlaanderen) and Michael Vanderaerden (Donckers Koffie) brought the stage to life by moving clear in the lead up to the Bemelerberg, and their ranks were boosted by the arrival of Cornelius van Ooijen’s (Jo Piels) shortly after.
The quartet built up a lead of almost eight minutes at one stage, but were reeled back in on the Camerig, and further attacks followed thick and fast.
An elite group of 12 riders including Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Bjorn Leukemans (Vacansoleil) and Niki Terpstra (Quick Step) were the next to break away on the notorious Cauberg, but Team Sky joined forces with HTC-Highroad and Garmin-Cervelo to make sure their threat was eventually annulled inside the final kilometre.
Haedo had tested his legs moments before that, but had enough left in the tank to outpace his rivals at the death and claim his second success of the season.