Bauke Mollema climbs to victory on stage two at Tour de Suisse
Last Updated: 09/06/13 5:59pm
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Bauke Mollema emerged from stage two at Tour de Suisse with the bragging rights after winning the mountain-top finish.
The Dutchman (Blanco Cycling) timed his attack perfectly on the first category climb to power past a tiring Ryder Hesjedal to claim victory on a wet day in Switzerland.
Hesjedal had launched a long-range effort mid-way up the 16-kilometre ascent and despite holding a gap of over 30 seconds at one point, the Garmin-Sharp rider became exposed as attacks launched out of a reduced peloton behind.
Mathias Frank (BMC Racing) was the next man home with Thibault Pinot (FDJ) rounding out the podium. Finishing just outside the top 10, stage one winner Cameron Meyer (Orica-GreenEDGE) was able to cling on to the yellow jersey by a slender margin of three seconds over Hesjedal.
Meyer's squad pushed hard to defend the lead during the stage, keeping close tabs on the early break before eventually ceding control on the climb after their numbers ran out.
The second stage ran in reduced form after snow put pay to the opening climb over the Nufenenpass and required a train journey for the convoy to the new start point.
After a later getaway to the 119km test, four riders made a bid for freedom and were rewarded - Enrique Sanz (Movistar), Christophe Riblon (AG2R-La Mondiale), Adrian Saez (Euskaltel Euskadi) and Johannes Frohlinger (Argos-Shimano) opening out a brief advantage.
Yet with such a short stage the quartet would never be allowed much rope, with a maximum lead of 2:50 the best they could hope for as Orica-GreenEDGE set the pace on the front on behalf of Meyer.
A flat drag along the valley floor ensured a fast pace leading into the foot of the 16km final climb, a huge acceleration in the bunch meaning the break were caught moments before the left turn onto the ascent.
A number of teams looked to impose their will before Garmin-Sharp hit out, first through Liege-Basrogne-Liege winner Dan Martin before Hesjedal pushed onwards.
The Canadian kicked again, dislodging the attentions of Martin, Brice Feillu (Sojasun) and finally Tanel Kangert (Astana) as his advantage continued to creep out.
Yet almost in sight of the finish Hesjedal found himself swamped, but could be content with second place overall behind Meyer.