McEwen Wins Stage 2 of Romandy Tour
Robbie McEwen (Silence) has scored his first victory of 2008. The Australian took a bunch sprint to win Stage 2 of the Tour of Romandy in 4:16:16. Daniel Bennati (Lampre) finished the rolling, 172.1-km run from Moutier to Fribourg in second, and Matti Breschel (CSC) took third. Michael Albasini (Liquigas) remains the overall leader.
Sunshine and warmth greeted the 145 starters. At four km, Remy Di Gregorio (Francaise des Jeux), Jose Luis Arrieta (Ag2r), and Ian McKissick (BMC) sallied off of the front. The trio led the field by more than nine and a half minutes at 61 km.
Liquigas, High Road, and Silence went to the front of the peloton. The lead fell to 9:07 at 69.8 km, 6:40 at 105 km, and 5:15 at 122 km. At 133.3 km, 3:40 separated bunch and break.
On the Category 2 Chemin de la Lorette (138.2 km), Di Gregorio and McKissick dropped Arrieta. At the summit, the pair led Arrieta by more than a minute, while Francesco Di Bonis (Gerolsteiner) had unsuccessfully attempted to bridge up to the leaders and was 2:11 behind them.
With 25 km remaining, Di Gregorio dropped McKissick. Ten km later, the Francaise des Jeux rider led McKissick by 1:33 and the peloton by 1:56. De Bonis had been reeled in three km earlier.
Liquigas led the field into the last 10 km. Alexandre Moos (BMC) attacked but was quickly reeled in. Markus Fothen (Gerolsteiner) followed suit but was caught with a shade more than a km left.
No team could control the field for the sprint. The situation was tailor-made for McEwen. The Australian fought his way from wheel to wheel until he reached the front.
In the overall, Albasini leads Maxim Iglinsky (Astana) by 0:01 and Markus Zberg (Gerolsteiner) by 0:08. Stage 3 will change the standings. The 18.8-km individual time trial in Sion will bring the Romandy Tour's contenders to the top of the leader board. Who will win? Who will assume the race lead? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!