Boonen Sprints to Stage Win in Tirreno-Adriatico; Gerdemann Still Leads
Sprinter second in standings but tied on time with Gerdemann.
Team QuickStep's Tom Boonen burned off his rivals in a sprint finish to claim the second stage of the 2010 Tirreno-Adriatico on Thursday ahead of German Paul Martens (Team Rabonak) and Italian Daniele Bennati (Team Liquigas).
Team Milram's Linus Gerdemann (Germany), who won Wednesday's first stage, retained the overall lead. Boonen is second with the same time as Gerdemann.
Quick Step's Boonen stayed on the tail of Bennati, whose Liquigas team controlled the closing stages of Thursday's stage, starting and finishing at Montecatini Terme in Tuscany, after the peloton had swallowed up a group of four early breakaways.
He then pounced with the finish line approaching to claim victory with relative ease and show that he is in good shape before this month's Milan-San Remo classic.
"I worked hard to stay up at the front today and I did a good sprint," Boonen told Rai television.
Britain's Mark Cavendish struggled again after finishing a long way back on Wednesday and looks far from the spectacular form he showed in 2009.
The Columbia sprinter's start to the season has been disrupted by dental problems that caused him to miss training and some races.
Friday's third stage is a 159-kilometer ride from San Miniato back to Monsummano Terme with two climbs in the last section.
The 2010 Tirreno-Adriatico, the first big stage race of the Italian season, ends on Tuesday.
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