Inkelaar remains second in a general where Lopez is now in sixth place
55° Giro Ciclístico Internazionale della Valle d’Aosta – Mont Blanc
Stage 2: Tavagnasco – Quassol (148.6 km)
On his own, the Briton Mark Donovan (Team Wiggins) won a second stage of the Giro d’Aosta that did not bring about substantial changes in the noble part of his classification, where the Italian Matteo Bellia (IAM Cycling) remains a yellow jersey with a 30 second margin over the Dutchman Kevin Inkelaar (Polartec-Kometa). The Madrid squad remains at the forefront of the general team.
Inkelaar and Juan Pedro Lopez arrived in the leader’s group, fourteenth and fifteenth respectively, 1:54 from the winner. The Sevillian lost a place in the standings, where he is now sixth, by the time won by Kazakh Vadim Pronskiy, involved in the fight for the partial victory. More time was lost by Miguel Ángel Ballesteros from Murcia, who worked for his colleagues and also had to manage some mechanical and even physical problems. “A crossed day from the beginning”, laments Ballesteros, who gave in 4:41 to the winner, finishing 36.
Donovan was involved in the escape of up to eleven riders that began in the early stages of the stage and that, with their highs, lows and alternatives, rode with up to three minutes of margin on a main pack with the IAM in charge. This second day online, perhaps less demanding orographically than the previous one, was marked by several mountain cols, the last of them less than nine kilometres away. Shortly before the last climb, Donovan reached the South African Stefan De Bod (Dimension Data), who had reached the top of the race coming from the group of the illustrious, and left without company.
“Kevin and I have saved the day well, we have been very close all day,” says Lopez. “It has been a really difficult stage to control”, says Kevin Inkelaar after taking the podium, because he remains at the front of the general classification points, the white jersey. “We’ve done a great job. I have to be grateful to the whole team for their efforts. I get goose bumps when we work together like this. We’ve been up front all day, checking up on you. Jesus and Dario had warned us that the last climb would be the one that would decide the stage. Miguel Ángel and Juanpe never left me alone. In the last climb we were in the overall group and even set the pace in the final part, before starting the descent. And I think we did well, because nobody attacked at the time”.
This Saturday will be a new stage of great demand. The exit from Antagnod and Champoluc will be 100 miles away. In the menu, five scoring ports. For the last 50 kilometres, the Col d´Arlaz, the Col Tsecore, the Col de Joux and the accesses to Champoluc are linked.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)