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Roche climbs GC as Haussler takes stage

Posted 13 June 2010

Heinrich Haussler won today’s second stage of the Tour de Suisse in a bunch sprint which contained an improving Nicolas Roche while Philip Deignan was part of larger group to lose time over the day’s final climb.

The third category climb of the Valencon proved to be more difficult than many of the riders had bargained for coming just 17 kilometres from the finish in Sierre.

It was the centrepiece of a 27 kilometre finishing loop around the town which an early five man breakaway started with an advantage of 2:06 over the main peloton.

The quintet of Joost Van Leijen (Vacansoleil), Aitor Hernandez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Matthias Russ (Milram), Pavel Brutt (Katusha) and Mathias Frank (BMC Racing) broke clear after just five kilometers of racing.

Their lead topped 7:10 after 25 kilometres and had held steady at five minutes plus over the first category climb of the Simplonpass before the Saxo Bank team of race leader Fabian Cancellara combined with the HTC Columbia team to shorten the leash.

Frank took Brutt with him after an attack at the foothill of the Valencon with the duo clinging onto a 53 second lead over the main peloton by the time they crested the 4.5 kilometre ascent.

They were re-joined by Russ on the descent with the trio holding a slender lead over the chasing group of some fifty riders who had shed virtually all of the big sprinters on the climb.

Roche was riding comfortably towards the front of that group and was well positioned going into the final three kilometres when the efforts of the Rabobank team brought back the leaders to set up the sprint for Oscar Freire.

The AG2R rider held back from taking any chances through the technical approach to the finish where Haussler rounded Pablo Garcia (Caisse d’Epargne) and Maroc Marcato (Vacansoleil) to celebrate a return to winning ways.

Roche finished 22st on the stage moving up to 15th in the GC where he remains 21 seconds behind Cancellara. Deignan crossed the line 3:09 down and has dropped back slightly to 91st in the GC where he is 3:49 behind heading into tomorrow's similar mountainous stage to Schwarzenburg.

Results:

Stage 2: Ascona - Sierre, 167 kilometres

1.  Heinrich Haussler (Cervelo Test Team) 4 hours, 25 minutes,16 seconds
2.  Pablo Lastras Garcia (Caisse d'Epargne)
3.  Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil)
4.  Oscar Freire Gomez (Rabobank)
5.  Gerald Ciolek (Milram)
6.  Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Caisse d'Epargne)
7.  Fabio Felline (Footon-Servetto)
8.  Simon Gerrans (Team Sky)
9. Francesco Gavazzi (Lampre-Farnese Vini )
10. Carlos Barredo (Quick Step) all same time

22. Nicolas Roche (AG2R La Mondiale) same time
114. Philip Deignan (Cervelo Test Team) at 3:09

General classification after stage 2:

1.  Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) 4 hours, 35 minutes, 37 seconds
2.  Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas-Doimo) 0:00:01
3.  Tony Martin (HTC-Columbia) 0:00:03
4.  Dries Devenyns (Quick Step) 0:00:10
5.  Gustav Erik Larsson (Saxo Bank) 0:00:11
6.  Thomas Lövkvist (Team Sky) 0:00:12
7.  Simon Gerrans (Team Sky) at 0:00:13
8.  Jacob Fuglsang (Saxo Bank)
9.  Bauke Mollema (Rabobank) at 0:00:14
10. Nicolas Jona Castroviejo (Euskaltel – Euskadi) same time

15. Nicolas Roche (AG2R La Mondiale) at 21 seconds
91. Philip Deignan (Cervelo Test Team) at 3 minutes, 49 seconds

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