Kanstantin Siutsou underlined Team Sky’s strength-in-depth with victory on the first summit finish of the Giro del Trentino, while team leader Bradley Wiggins climbed to fourth overall.
Siutsou, who crashed out of the 2012 Tour de France with a broken leg, is likely to be one of Wiggins’ key domestiques at the Giro d’Italia, which starts in Naples on Saturday May 4.
And the Belarusian rider demonstrated his climbing prowess with victory in Trentino, holding off Mauro Santambrogio (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia) on the final climb to Vetriolo Terme.
Santambrogio got within four seconds of the 30-year-old Siutsou, while Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) finished third on the stage.
Wiggins, who helped Team Sky to victory in Tuesday afternoon’s team time trial, matched the Italian’s accelerations on the climb to finish on his rival’s wheel – both riders are using the Giro del Trentino as preparation for a tilt at the Giro d’Italia title.
Siutsou initially joined forces with Pierre Rolland (Europcar) and Stefano Pirazzi (Bardiani Valvole-CSF) on the climb but dropped both riders.
“I thought maybe I could try to make an attack and see what happened,” said Siutsou. “Maybe a team would come to the front and control the tempo which would suit Bradley. A couple of riders followed me but didn’t really want to ride so I just kept pushing a little bit more and tried to control my power.
“Astana tried to close it down but when I saw that there was five kilometres to go and the gap of just over 30 seconds I tried to push a little bit harder, but not to go to the very maximum as I wanted to try and keep something for the final kilometre in case someone closed me down.”
Maxime Bouet (Ag2r La Mondiale), winner of the opening stage dominated by a breakaway which gained nearly seven minutes on the peloton, now leads the mountainous four-day race, three minutes and 19 seconds ahead of Siutsou, with Wiggins an additional 29 seconds adrift.
Stage three of the Giro del Trentino will see the peloton tackle a 176.1km route from Pergine Valsugana and Condino via four climbs, while the race concludes on Friday with a 166km stage which finishes with the steep climb of Sega di Ala.
Giro del Trentino 2013 – stage two – result
1) Kanstantin Siutsou (BLR) – Team Sky
2) Mauro Santambrogio (ITA) – Vini Fantini-Selle Italia +4″
3) Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) – Astana +19″
4) Bradley Wiggins (GBR) – Team Sky – same time
5) Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA) – AG2r La Mondiale +28″
6) Stefano Pirazzi (ITA) – Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox +34″
7) Fabio Aru (ITA) – Astana +37″
8) Alexsandr Dyachenko (KAZ) – Astana +38″
9) Pierre Rolland (FRA) – Europcar +45″
10) Cadel Evans (AUS) – BMC Racing
1) Maxime Bouet (FRA) – Ag2r La Mondiale – 8:55:48 hours
2) Kanstantin Siutsou (BLR) – Team Sky +3’19”
3) Pavel Kochetkov (RUS) – Rusvelo +3’35”
4) Bradley Wiggins (GBR) – Team Sky +3’48”
5) Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) – Astana +3’57”