Bettini Wins Stage 2 of Mediterranean Tour
Paolo Bettini (Quick Step-Davitamon) has won Stage 2 of the Mediterranean Tour. The Italian took a small bunch sprint to win the 130-km run from La Londe des Maures to Hyeres in 3:16:40. Igor Astarloa (Cofidis) has taken the overall lead.
After a fast first half of the stage, Bettini's teammate Richard Virenque attacked on the Col de Fourches at 67 km. Frederic Bessy (Cofidis) joined Virenque, and the pair built a four-minute lead before Rabobank and Ag2r began to chase.
With 20 km left, Jorg Jaksche (CSC) bridged up to the leading duo on the day's last climb. Behind, a 25-man chase group formed. Virenque attacked and dropped his companions.
For a time, the Frenchman looked like a winner. With 500 m remaining, however, the chase group caught him. Bettini came around Astarloa to win.
In the overall, Astarloa leads Sylvain Chavanel (Brioches La Boulangere) and Bettini by 0:02. Stage 3 will be a 128-km ride from Rousset to Berre l'Etang. Will Astarloa remain in the lead? Check in at http://www.roadcycling.com/ and find out!