ToB stage 2
As the rain poured down over the coastal town of Blackpool British rider Roger Hammond flew past the finishing line with both arms above his head in salute of a tremendous second stage victory.
The determined Roger Hammond who is currently on loan from Lance Armstrong’s Discovery Team stole the show with a gutsy attacking ride across the scenic roads of the Lake District. Hammond looked like a shadow of his team-mate, Armstrong in his pursuit for the stage victory following a disappointing first day of the six -stage Tour.
Flying the flag for the Great Britain Team, Hammond led a three-man breakaway just ten miles into the 109 mile route from Carlisle’s 900-year castle to the shadow of Blackpool’s neon Tower.
With Recycling’s Robin Sharman alongside Hammond, a British team-mate, and Belgium’s Kevin Van Impe, Roger helped build up an impressive advantage over a 92-strong peloton which peaked at nearly 11 minutes.
However, as the torrential rain that plagued the spectacular finish at Blackpool began to set in and with the finish line in sight, the chasing pack had dragged the leaders back to within sight which made for a thrilling finish as Hammond, head down and determined pushed on for victory. Another 500 metres and they would have been overtaken after nearly 100 miles in the lead.
The victory will help ease Hammond’s disappointment after finishing Tuesday’s first stage more than 22 minutes behind the leaders.It also underlines his credentials for iimproving in this years race, “I didn’t get much sleep because I was struggling to come to terms that my race, for the general classification at least, was over," said Hammond.
“I am not a very happy person when things go wrong and I wanted to prove to myself that things are going in the right direction, especially with the World Championships just around the corner.
“I could have waited for a bunch sprint but I decided to do it my way.
“We made a mistake on the first day but that doesn’t make it any easier. We’ve put things back on track now and my anger from the first stage probably helped."
Hammond also won all three intermediate sprints to lead the sprints competition, sponsored by T-Mobile.
Meanwhile, while Sharman from the Recycling.co.uk-Litespeed team rode out the category 2 climbs over Shap Fell and Blease Hill to take the King of the Mountains jersey.
Mark Cavendish, Hammond’s team mate topped off what was an excellent day for the British contingent with a third place finish. The MrBookmaker-Sports Tech rider had yet another good day in the peloton, winning the Points Jersey while only remaining 11 seconds off yellow jersey leader which is still held by Belgium’s Nick Nuyens.
RESULTS STAGE 2 – CARISLE TO BLACKPOOL
1. 66 GBR19740130 Hammond,Roger GBR Great Britain 3h58'48"
2. 36 GBR19791208 Sharman,Robin REC Recycling.co.uk/Lites 3h58'53" @ 05"
3. 62 GBR19850521 Cavindish,Mark GBR Great Britain 3h58'58" @ 10"
4. 5 ITA19770116 Paolini,Luca QST Quick Step-Innergetic 3h58'58" @ s/t
5. 11 GER19800321 Baumann,Eric TMO T-Mobile 3h58'58" @ s/t
6. 53 GBR19740312 Hunt,Jeremy MRB Mr Bookmaker-Sports T 3h58'58" @ s/t
7. 91 ESP19801012 Cherro Molina,Javier ECV Comunidad Valenciana 3h58'58" @ s/t
8. 25 DEN19690313 Michaelsen,Lars CSC Team CSC 3h58'58" @ s/t
9. 146 JPN19730809 Mizutani,Takehiro BGT Bridgestone Anchor 3h58'58" @ s/t
10. 116 BEL19780826 Vanlandschoot,James LAN Landbouwkrediet Colna 3h58'58" @ s/t
1. 4 BEL19800505 Nuyens,Nick QST Quick Step-Inner 8h23'18"
2. 22 DEN19730430 Blaudzun,Michael CSC Team CSC 8h23'25" @ 07"
3. 91 ESP19801012 Cherro Molina,Javier ECV Comunidad Valenc 8h23'28" @ 10"
4. 53 GBR19740312 Hunt,Jeremy MRB Mr Bookmaker-Spo 8h23'29" @ 11"
5. 121 GBR19800106 Barker,Yanto DFL DFL Driving Forc 8h23'34" @ 16"
6. 1 AUS19791220 Rogers,Michael QST Quick Step-Inner 8h23'34" = s/t
7. 113 BEL19750721 de Waele,Bert LAN Landbouwkrediet 8h23'34" = s/t
8. 101 GBR19810528 Southam,Tom TBL Barloworld-Valsi 8h23'35" @ 17"
9. 73 POL19821202 Mazur,Peter NIC Navigators Insur 8h23'35" = s/t
10. 55 BEL19700806 Thijs,Erwin MRB Mr Bookmaker-Spo 8h23'35" = s/t
1. 53 Hunt,J MRB 23 2. 22 Blaudzun,M CSC 17
3. 91 Cherro Molin ECV 16
4. 4 Nuyens,N QST 15
5. 66 Hammond,R GBR 15
1. 36 Sharman,R REC 12
2. 44 Van Impe,K JAC 10
3. 51 Day,B MRB 8
4. 66 Hammond,R GBR 8
5. 95 Olmo Menacho ECV 7
1. 66 Hammond,R GBR 15
2. 11 Baumann,E TMO 13
3. 91 Cherro Molin ECV 11
4. 36 Sharman,R REC 8
5. 44 Van Impe,K JAC 7