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"The group of five was away for 158 kilometers before being caught near the end. We had hoped for Tyler in the sprint, but the final didn't go to our expectations."

Photo: MTN Qhubeka

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19.02.2015 @ 20:38 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Nic Dougall was part of the a five-man break group which dominated the second stage of the Vuelta a Andalusia Ruta del Sol. Things fell apart in the final kilometers and MTN-Qhubeka was not able to place at the finish.


Nic was in the day’s break group, along with Pirmin Lang (IAM), Aleksandr Komin (RusVelo), Sjoerd Van Ginneken (Roompot) and Adrian Honkisz (CCC). They built up a gap of just over five minutes along the way. Dougall took third at the first intermediate sprint.


Tinkoff-Saxo was not going to let anyone get away for good, though, and led the peloton the whole day. With 62 km to go, the gap was down to three minutes. As the road became more rolling, the gap fell dramatically. Komin was dropped from the break group as the road started rising.

 

Dougall and Honkisz were caught within sight of the final intermediate sprint with 20 km to go, with the other two escapees gathered in again shortly thereafter.

 

There was another rise at the end, for the last 1200 meters. Tinkoff-Saxo turned on the speed on the climb, and when race leader Alberto Contador looked for his chance, MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung’s Merhawi Kudus was right with him.

 

There was no mass sprint. In the final few hundred meters, Juan Jose Lobato (Movistar) jumped to take the win.

 

The day had started with a loss for the team, as Steve Cummings had become ill overnight and did not start.

 

"Today was a long stage, and we were glad to have Nic in the break," sports director Alex Sans Vega said. "The group of five was away for 158 kilometers before being caught near the end. We had hoped for Tyler in the sprint, but the final didn't go to our expectations. Now we are looking at what we can do tomorrow."

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