Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Sharp) scored an impressive victory on stage two of the 2013 Tour de Romandie.
The Lithuanian, briefly the race leader at last year’s Giro d’Italia, held off the challenge of 2012 Amstel Gold Race winner, Enrico Gasparotto (Astana), and yesterday’s winner, Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-QuickStep).
Meersman fulfilled his pledge to target a second consecutive stage win. Had he done so, he would have equalled his tally in the Volta a Catalunya, where he wrapped up victory on stages one and two.
He said: “It’s a shame that I couldn’t really make the sprint today, because in the last corner a guy came from behind on the inside of the last corner.
“There was some confusion and I had to brake, and other riders near me had to brake. We lost about 10 to 15 meters at that point.”
Chris Froome (Team Sky) enjoyed a quieter stage, riding in the wake of team mates who pulled from the departure from Prilly/Ouest Lausannois until 10km to the finish.
Directeur sportif, Servais Knaven, praised the sustained efforts of the Isle of Man’s Peter Kennaugh, an Olympic gold medalist on the track with Great Britain’s men’s team pursuit squad, and Australian sprinter, Chris Sutton.
“The guys did a good job today. Pete and CJ did a good job riding on the front until the last 25km. Kiri [Vasil Kiriyenka] also rode really well controlling things at the start to make sure the right break went away. That’s very often the hardest part of the race.
“Of course our rivals tried everything to make it hard for us. They know we have a strong team and I’d probably do the same thing if I was racing against us. It wasn’t unexpected and we certainly prepared for attacks. It was a good day to try it but that’s bike racing. You don’t get anything for free and that will be the same tomorrow,” he said.
Tomorrow’s 181km stage begins and ends in Payerne, and includes four categorised climbs.
Tour de Romandie 2013 – stage two – result
1) Ramunas Navaradauskas (LTU) – Garmin-Sharp – 4.51.49
2) Enrico Gasparotto (ITA) – Astana – ST
3) Gianni Meersman (BEL) – Omega Pharma-QuickStep
4) Luka Mezgec (SLO) – Argos-Shimano
5) Dominik Nerz (GER) – BMC Racing
6) Francesco Gavazzi (ITA) – Astana
7) Jan Bakelants (BEL) – RadioShack-Leopard
8) Stef Clement (NED) – Blanco Pro Cycling
9) Michael Albasini (SUI) – Orica-GreenEDGE
10) Manuele Mori (ITA) – Lampre-Merida
1) Chris Froome (GBR) – Team Sky – 9.34.13
2) Andrew Talansky (USA) – Garmin-Sharp +6″
3) Robert Kiserlovski (CRO) – Radioshack-Leopard +13″
4) Richie Porte (AUS) – Team Sky +15″
5) Rui Costa (POR) – Movistar +16″
6) Thibaut Pinot (FRA) – FDJ +17″
7) Stef Clement (NED) – Blanco Pro Cycling – ST
8) Alejandro Valverde (ESP) – Movistar
9) Tom Danielson (USA) – Garmin-Sharp
10) Wilco Kelderman (NED) – Blanco Pro Cycling +18″