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Tirreno Adriatico – Stage 2

Tirreno Adriatico… stage 2

The man they call “The Cricket”, Italy’s Paolo Bettini, was almost gifted the 172km second stage of Tirreno Adriatico by Team Milram, when Erik Zabel (only 4 seconds behind Bettini on the overall before yesterday) faltered in the finale after a perfect lead out.

Bettini didn’t need a second invitation and jumped away from the unfortunate Zabel and all of the other fast men with less than 200m to go. The gently dragging finish clearly suited Bettini better than it did the big German, as he quickly opened up a big gap.

Unlucky day for Contrini of Team LPR too, who was caught with only 100m to go by the hard driving sprinters teams. He had jumped away from a four man group in the tough run-in and tried to solo it for the last 10km through the streets of Tivoli. The exhausted foursome, which included French fastman Jimmy Casper, were all that was left of a much larger break which escaped early in the stage.

Stage 2

1. Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick Step-Innergetic 4.03.19 (42.167 km/h)
2. Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Milram
3. Mikhaylo Khalilov (Ukr) Team L.P.R.
4. Alessandro Ballan (Ita) Lampre-Fondital
5. Thor Hushovd (Nor) Credit Agricole
6. Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) Acqua Sapone
7. Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Rabobank
8. Luca Ascani (Ita) Naturino-Sapore Di Mare
9. Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner
10. Christoph Le Mevel (Fra) Credit Agricole
188. Magnus Backstedt (Swe) Liquigas @10’34”

Overall
1. Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick Step-Innergetic 8.11.54
2. Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Milram 0.08
3. Mikhaylo Khalilov (Ukr) Team L.P.R. 0.16
4. Thor Hushovd (Nor) Credit Agricole
5. Alessandro Ballan (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 0.20
6. Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner
7. Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Rabobank
8. Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Liquigas
9. Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) Acqua Sapone
10. Massimili Gentili (Ita) Naturino-Sapore Di Mare
179. Magnus Backstedt (Swe) Liquigas @13’11”

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