- Today was a good stage for a breakaway, so I was able to go away. It was a nice group with strong riders, so quite quickly we took a big gap of over 5 minutes. The weather conditions were really bad, but it favored us to keep the advantage. My legs were good, but I knew that Küng is a very strong rider, so I expected an attack from his side. But, finally we came to the finish together. I had a good position during the last km and did my best in sprint, but it was not enough for a victory. Küng just was stronger today. In this stage I was very motivated for a fight, I looked for a victory to dedicate it to Michele Scarponi. I did all I could… Well, I finished second. That’s a nice result anyway, which gives me more confidence in myself. I think, the whole team gets more motivation after yesterday and today stages. We are looking forward to the next days and we are ready to get more in honor of Michele, - said Andriy Grivko.
The second stage of the race was held in really bad weather conditions: it was very cold and rainy, sometimes with the snow. Because of the snow, the organizers of the race were forced to short the distance and to move the start from Champéry to Aigle. The finish of the stage was in Bulle with a total distance of 136 km.
Four riders broke away clear at the first kilometers of the stage with Andriy Grivko among them. Closer to the final after a few attacks only Grivko and Küng were able to hold the gap to the peloton, playing the stage in the final.
- We knew about bad forecast for today, so it was clear that a break could be a successful one. Thus, we asked the riders to try to go in a break and Andriy has succeed. He did a very strong and smart race, he did his best, but in sprint he missed just a little to win. Anyway, second place is a nice result too, and it gives us confidence we are on the right way. We still have three stages ahead and Astana will keep on fighting, - added sports director Bruno Cenghialta.
Both Astana Team leaders, Pello Bilbao and Tanel Kangert ended the stage in the main bunch, which finished 20 seconds behind Küng and Grivko.
Italian Fabio Felline still leads in the general classification.
Tomorrow will be held the third stage of the race: 187 km around Payerne.
Photo credit: ©Bettiniphoto