Jonas Ahlstrand (Sweden/Giant-Shimano) came around Belkin’s Theo Bos (The Netherlands) to claim stage 2 of this year’s Tour of Alberta in a sprint finish in Red Deer today.
Meanwhile, yesterday’s stage winner, Ruben Zepuntke (Germany/Bissel), placed third. While, Ahlstrand’s teammate, Tom Dumoulin, held onto the yellow leader’s jersey for another day.
The riders were relieved to race on a dry day after yesterday’s chilly deluge. The peloton traveled two neutral laps around Innisfail before heading north to Sylvan Lake to contest two intermediate sprints over one and a half laps of the town. Ahlstrand took the first sprint and Daryl Impey (South Africa/Orica-GreenEdge) the second, with top Canadian Ryan Anderson (Optum) coming runner-up to Impey.
It wasn’t until the final 55 kilometers, that a breakaway finally got underway. It started as a 15-man affair, but it fragmented as the long, strung-out peloton pursued. From there, a trio of riders containing King of the Mountains leader Robin Carpenter (USA/Hincapie Development), Simon Yates (Australia/Orica-GreenEdge) and Kiel Reijnen (USA/United HealthCare), managed to ride clear. Howverm they were quickly joined Cameron Wurf (Australia/Cannondale) and American Jim Stemper (5-Hour Energy).
The day’s only King of the Mountains points were on offer at the 27-km mark, after the road had dropped down into the Red Deer River basin. At the top of the ascent Yates beat out Carpenter for the maximum points and usurped the red polka-dot jersey.
As the race neared Red Deer for three 4-km laps, Ben King (USA/Garmin-Sharp) and Frenchman Aurélien Passeron (Silber) bridged over to the break to create a leading septet. King, Yates and Reijnen were the last three standing with 10-km to go, but a couple of their breakaway companions latched back on in an attempt to elude the Belkin and Giant-Shimano led peloton. King was the final escapee to be absorbed.
As teams organized themselves to launch their sprinters. Ahlstrand chose the right wheel to follow in Bos. And, once the Swedish rider surged, he had time to celebrate at the line. With the victory and the earlier sprint points, Ahlstrand moves into second in the points competition behind Zepuntke. Thursday’s winner admitted that his stage win wasn’t Giant-Shimano’s priority:
“I was trying to help Tom as much as possible – so it worked for both of us.”
Zach Bell (Team SmartStop) was the top Canadian rider today’s stage 2 – finishing in 11th place. Anderson keeps the red jersey for best Canadian on GC in 5th place.
Stage 2 Results
SWE 1 AHLSTRAND, Jonas (GIANT-SHIMANO) 3:02:14 NED 2 BOS, Theo (BELKIN) GER 3 ZEPUNTKE, Ruben (BISSELL DEVELOPMENT TEAM) USA 4 YOUNG, Eric (OPTUM P/B KELLY BENEFIT STRATEGIES) SLO 5 MOHORIC, Matej (CANNONDALE) LTU 6 NAVARDAUSKAS, Ramunas (GARMIN SHARP) DEN 7 BROCHNER, Nicolai (BISSELL DEVELOPMENT TEAM) MDA 8 TVETCOV, Serghei (JELLY BELLY P/B MAXXIS) NED 9 VAN DER LIJKE, Nicky (BELKIN) USA 10 SUMMERHILL, Daniel (UNITEDHEALTHCARE) CAN 11 BELL, Zachary (TEAM SMARTSTOP) AUS 12 LEWIS, Joseph (HINCAPIE SPORTSWEAR DEVELOPMENT) RSA 13 IMPEY, Daryl (ORICA GreenEDGE) USA 14 ROSSKOPF, Joseph (HINCAPIE SPORTSWEAR DEVELOPMENT) AUS 15 VON HOFF, Steele (GARMIN SHARP) CAN 16 NAUD, Pierrick (GARNEAU – QUÉBECOR) SLO 17 KOCJAN, Jure (TEAM SMARTSTOP) GER 18 FÖRSTER, Robert (UNITEDHEALTHCARE) AUS 19 HAYMAN, Mathew (ORICA GreenEDGE) CAN 20 MEIER, Christian (ORICA GreenEDGE)
General Classification after Stage 2 NED 1 DUMOULIN, Tom (GIANT-SHIMANO) 6:26:23 GER 2 ZEPUNTKE, Ruben (BISSELL DEVELOPMENT TEAM) + 9 MDA 3 TVETCOV, Serghei (JELLY BELLY P/B MAXXIS) + 14 USA 4 DANIELSON, Thomas (GARMIN SHARP) + 17 CAN 5 ANDERSON, Ryan (OPTUM P/B KELLY BENEFIT STRATEGIES) RSA 6 IMPEY, Daryl (ORICA GreenEDGE) + 18 ITA 7 VILLELLA, Davide (CANNONDALE) USA 8 SUMMERHILL, Daniel (UNITEDHEALTHCARE) USA 9 ROSSKOPF, Joseph (HINCAPIE SPORTSWEAR DEVELOPMENT) + 22 CAN 10 MEIER, Christian (ORICA GreenEDGE) + 23 GER 11 GESCHKE, Simon (GIANT-SHIMANO) NZL 12 ORAM, James (BISSELL DEVELOPMENT TEAM) USA 13 KING, Benjamin (GARMIN SHARP) + 25 NED 14 WEENING, Pieter (ORICA GreenEDGE) + 26 USA 15 REIJNEN, Kiel (UNITEDHEALTHCARE) CAN 16 WOODS, Michael (5-HOUR ENERGY) + 28 AUS 17 HOWARD, Leigh (ORICA GreenEDGE) + 30 NED 18 KRUIJSWIJK, Steven (BELKIN) + 31 LTU 19 NAVARDAUSKAS, Ramunas (GARMIN SHARP) + 32 NZL 20 SMITH, Dion (HINCAPIE SPORTSWEAR DEVELOPMENT)
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