The second stage of the Tour of the Alps was characterized by the difficult weather conditions that forced the organizers to cut the first 40 km of the stage (including the Brenner Pass) for snow.
Restarting the stage from Vipiteno, the race itself changed, as a consequence of the new profile, with the first part very fast in descent and the temperatures that had never been up to 8/9 degrees.
Some attacks on the steep Sainkt Justina climb saw a very strong reaction of the Astana Pro Team to keep the gap from the breakaway always short. Then the final sprint between a group of 30/40 riders, saw the victory of the Australian Rohan Dennis, with the French Thibaut Pinot second.
Thanks to this placement and the bonus, the French has conquered also the Leader’s Jersey, taking it from the shoulders of our Michele Scarponi, who is still second with the same time.
“It has been a tough stage for me and I think for many in the peloton – commented Scarponi after the finish – it was cold for the entire day and the final was quite nervous with the steep climb of Sainkt Justina and the final uphill valley… I’ve lost the Jersey but we are still at the same time so I can say it is not a big problem for the moment.”
“I really care about to thank my team mates who did a great work to keep the attackers in the final and avoid that anyone could have gained important seconds – continued Scarponi – tomorrow there will be a very important stage, probably the most difficult of the entire race, and I’m sure there will be an important selection between the contenders: I feel good, let’s see how the race will develop…”.
The Spaniard Luis Leon Sanchez tried to do the sprint and he was 7th on the finish line. The other Italian, Dario Cataldo, ended in the bunch and now the GC sees Scarponi 2nd with the same time of the leader and Cataldo 5th at 10 secs.
Tomorrow, third stage of the Tour of the Alps, from Villabassa to Funes (143,1 km) with 3724 meters of difference in level and the climb of Passo delle Erbe, Alpe Rodengo and the uphill final to Funes.