Tirreno-Adriatico 2016: late Zdenek Stybar attack wins stage 2

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Tirreno-Adriatico 2016: late Zdenek Stybar attack wins stage two

Czech ace escapes on final climb to take race lead

Zdenek Stybar (Etixx-QuickStep) won stage two of Tirreno-Adriatico and bagged the leader’s jersey after a late attack.

A flurry of attacks on the day’s final climb had stripped the peloton right down in size and, after team-mate Gianluca Brambilla shut down an attack, Stybar shot clear and crested the summit with a small gap.

Zdenek Stybar’s late attack saw him claim victory on stage two at Tirreno-Adriatico (pic: Sirotti)

And it proved enough, the Czech ace holding his advantage to the finish with bonus seconds enough to bag the blue jersey.

World champion Peter Sagan finished second, meanwhile, one second behind – the Tinkoff man’s search for a first win in the rainbow jersey going on.

Girogio Cecchinel (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec), Simone Andreetta (Bardiani CSF), Cesare Benedetti (Bora-Argon 18), Lluis Guillermo Mas (Caja Rural-Seguros), Nikolay Mihaylov (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) and Federico Zurlo (Lampre-Merida) formed the day’s break.

With a distinct Italian feel to the six-man breakaway, they earned a gap of close to seven minutes but BMC Racing, after seizing the initiative in the team time trial on stage one, worked well to keep them in check.

The American team were happy to keep them on a long leash, and the only real drama in the early parts of the race was a brief stoppage at a level crossing.

Taylor Phinney and Jempy Drucker were among those putting the hurt on the peloton, which had lined out on in pursuit of the six escapees as they closed the gap on a wide-open stretch of road.

Astana finally lent a hand to line the peloton out even further with 15km to go, bringing the break to within 30 seconds and Sky also showed themselves on the front as the six were soon swept up.

BMC Racing and Movistar took over with six kilometres to race, with Giovanni Visconti shooting clear for the latter and quickly being reeled back in.

Daniele Bennati (Tinkoff) and Reianrdt Janse van Rensburg (Dimension Data) bumped shoulders as both brought their GC men forward before Mirko Selvaggi (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) made an opportunist attack.

That was short-lived, but Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) – on local roads – turned the screw on the toughest section as the attacks continued to fly off the front.

The Czech ace will roll out in the blue jersey for stage three (pic: Sirotti)

Etixx-QuickStep kept the moves in check though, and Stybar took advantage to earn himself a small advantage over the summit of the climb.

Davide Formolo (Cannondale) put in a big chasing shift, but swung off with Stybar still holding the advantage – Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) forced to take over.

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) put in a counter attack, but it was too late to bring Stybar back – the Czech ace getting his arms in the air for his first win of the season.

Tirreno-Adriatico 2016: stage two – result

1) Zdenek Stybar (CZE) – Etixx-QuickStep – 5.10.03hrs
2) Peter Sagan (SVK) – Tinkoff +1”
3) Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) – ST
4) Simon Clarke (AUS) – Cannondale
5) Alejandro Valverde (ESP) – Movistar
6) Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) – Astana
7) Greg van Avermaet (BEL) – BMC Racing
8) Tiesj Benoot (BEL) – Lotto-Soudal
9) Michal Kwiatkowski (POL) – Team Sky
10) Gianluca Brambilla (ITA) – Etixx-QuickStep

General classification

1) Zdenek Stybar (CZE) – Etixx-QuickStep – 5.33.50hrs
2) Greg van Avermaet (BEL) – BMC Racing +9”
3) Tejay van Garderen (USA) – BMC Racing – ST
4) Damiano Caruso (ITA) – BMC Racing
5) Daniel Oss (ITA) – BMC Racing
6) Gianluca Brambilla (ITA) – Etixx-QuickStep +11”
7) Bob Jungels (LUX) – Etixx-QuickStep – ST
8) Peter Sagan (SVK) – Tinkoff +14”
9) Thibaut Pinot (FRA) – FDJ +18”
10) Sebastien Reichenbach (SUI) – FDJ – ST

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