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"There were two from Astana and two from Katusha so I was patient and stayed in the wheels. I had the win in mind, more than GC, and when Durasek went it was not up to me to close the gap, and he was gone."

Photo: Sirotti








14.06.2015 @ 22:47 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Julian Arredondo arrived with a small group of nine riders that contested the finish of the 161-kilometer stage two, the first road stage of the 10-day event, and sprinted to third place.


Kristijan Durasek (Lampre-Merida) attacked under the flamme rouge and the moment’s hesitation by the remaining eight was all he needed as he soloed to the victory. Arredondo showed a strong kick in the final meters to take a close second in the group sprint after Daniel Moreno of Katusha.


“I felt really good, I had really good training after the Classics, so I tried an attack on the last climb. It didn’t work, but I was happy to help make a selection of nine riders. There were two from Astana and two from Katusha so I was patient and stayed in the wheels. I had the win in mind, more than GC, and when Durasek went it was not up to me to close the gap, and he was gone," Arredondo said.


The tough parcours of stage two was made up of four circuits - two laps of 58.6 kilometers and two laps of 22.4 kilometers. 


It was the latter two small laps that inflicted the most damage with a steep category-one climb (4km at 8.9%) that topped out less than 13 kilometers from the finish line, and it was here the expected fireworks played out the final time up.


Julian Arredondo showed he is back to top form as he rode on the front up the climb before launching a move around the midway point. Behind the peloton shattered on the steep grade and over the top the Arredondo group rode clear, with Bob Jungels a little further behind in the second group.


“I know this climb really well as it is only five kilometers from where I live,” explained Jungels. “It’s a tough one - steep, steep in the beginning - and a lot of guys exploded the last time up. I knew to go my own rhythm and I caught back [Peter] Sagan and I knew that he was good company to have. Julian’s group was around 200-300 meters ahead and the gap got bigger and bigger to them.”


As the nine leaders attacked each other to the finish the second group, also comprised of nine, clawed back some precious seconds and arrived only 14 seconds later. Bob Jungels finished in 12th place and moved into the top 10 overall.


Jungels added, “The first day of a stage race is always fast and hard. I knew from the team’s training camp that I am climbing quite well and it was a really, really hard stage, but I felt really good. Just before the first time on the small circuit I had to change my bike and I spent a little bit of energy there, but I managed to come back before the climb and still go over with the front guys.


“For me this [situation] is good. The last TT is long at almost 40kms and if I can keep my position until then it would be very good. But for sure we have Julian now who is on really good from and we really have to win a stage with him - he has a good chance.”


Jungels now sits in 9th place overall and Arredondo in 11th, both riders at 19 seconds from race leader Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Shimano).



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