44th Tour of the Alps
Stage 2: Innsbruck – Feichten im Kaunertal (121.5 km)
A stage in which the fight came with the signature of the big names of the race and in which the EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team remained firm in its quest for a great result. A short day, yes, but with a very complicated second part due to the double passage, although by different slopes, through the hard Piller Sattel and the final ascent to a breathtakingly beautiful environment.
After a fast start and several alternatives, it was the promising Davide Bais who managed to join the hard-fought breakaway that opened the day until the second climb, the hard one, to the Piller Sattel. For a few moments Bais was the provisional leader of the race. A nice dream. A breakaway of six riders, later five, that very close to the top of the first of the two climbs of the Austrian pass fell apart. Reuben Thompson attacked and was caught by Bais on the descent. The two managed the rest of the descent, the link section and the start of the second climb.
The Piller Sattel on this side has an average of over 9%. Very tough. The Arkea imposed a very strong pace on the peloton, selected the race, neutralised the breakaway and gave way to a phase of multiple attacks where Simon Yates, Pavel Sivakov, Nairo Quintana and Hugh Carthy stood out. Behind, Edward Ravasi, riding alongside leader Gianni Moscon, was looking to close the gap. Yates would eventually ride solo to win the stage and become the new leader.
Just over three minutes behind Yates came the group of Tuesday’s leader, with Edward Ravasi, Mark Christian and Erik Fetter, 24th, 25th and 26th respectively. A short but frenetic second stage, with 47 km covered in its first hour, and with important differences. In the general standings, Ravasi is in 27th place, with Erik Fetter in 30th and Mark Christian in 33rd, all three 3’11” behind the leader. On Wednesday, 162 kilometres between Imst and Naturno, with no shortage of climbs. Of the four planned, curiously, only two will score points for the mountains. The last one, Tarsch/Tarres, with its summit at 18.4 km.
Davide Bais: “I had a goal: to enter in the breakaway and I’m happy to have achieved it. I’m a little bit sorry for the final part of the race: I would have liked to do the last strong part and push on the descent to help Ravasi but they caught me at the beginning of the last climb. They all came up very strong and didn’t leave us much space, but I’m happy because the team showed up again today and took part in a good breakaway. I’m feeling good, the high altitude work done in Sierra Nevada is making itself felt and I want to try something again in this Tour of the Alps. Let’s say that I have the last stage in my sights: it’s on my roads, 20 kilometres from my home… who knows”.