Vuelta diary, stage 2: Almost, yet again, for GreenEDGE
Throughout sprint stages at Grand Tours this year, Orica GreenEDGE have been the bridesmaid on countless occasions.
Unfortunately for the team, that tradition continued today after Australian rider the GreenEDGE, Allan Davis, was pipped on the line in a close sprint finish by emerging German sprinter, John Degenkolb.
Earlier in the stage a four man breakaway escaped from the peloton, which included danger man, Niki Terpstra.
However, the four man breakaway were slowly reeled in by the peloton and with 20 kilometres to go in the flat stage, only Javier Aramandia and Mikhail Ignatiev had managed to remain away in the lead.
With 12km they too were caught, and so it would be a battle between the all conquering peloton.
Attacks were attempted, incuding a desperate move by Sergey Lagutin, who finished 5th in this year’s Olympic road race, just 7km out from the line.
However all attacks proved fruitless and it was to be sprint finish fought out by the peloton.
GreenEDGE had their lead out train working like a machine, and at what seemed the perfect moment launched Allan Davis into a sprint for the line. It seemed he had the stage win, however German rising star John Degenkolb clinched it only a few metres out from the line.
The theme is constantly recurring for the Australian who have only enjoyed one grand tour stage win, yet have had countless runner ups in stages, mostly achieved by their premier sprinter, Matt Goss.
Whilst this may seem frustrating, have a peek on the bright side. The fact is, things can only get better for Orica GreenEdge. Take a look at Team Sky, who went from a very average team at the 2011 Tour de France to the benchmark, superstar team of the 2012 Tour de France.
Large improvement can be achieved, and in tough times like this when it seems as if nothing will ever go right, Orica GreenEdge must stick together and keep working hard, knowing that in the future results worth celebrating will come their way.
Elsewhere John Degenkolb, the winner of last night’s stage, is in all likelihood a superstar in the making. At just 23 years of age, this impressive German has already achieved two stage victories at the famous lead up race to the Tour de France – Criterium du Dauphine, an impressive feat.
He is certainly one to watch in the near future.
Stage 2 provided us with some classic cycling action, and Orica GreenEdge is the hard luck story of professional road cycling.
Stage 3 begins tonight, with a 155km journey from Faustino to Eibar. It is the first mountain stage, and it is sure to be an exciting finish with the top of a Category 1 climb also acting as the finish line. Watch out for some exciting changes to the general classification.
Unsung hero: Daniel Teklehaimanot. The Orica GreenEdge rider who is from Eritrea did a sterling job to haul in Sergey Lagutin only a few kilometres out from the line, to set up teammate Allan Davis in a sprint finish.
Unfortunately Davis just failed to finish it off, but Teklehaimanot deserves applause.
Stage 2 results:
1 John Degenkolb (Ger) Argos-Shimano 4:38:40
2 Allan Davis (Aus) Orica – GreenEdge
3 Ben Swift (GBr) Sky Procycling
4 Elia Viviani (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
5 Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) BMC Racing Team
6 Vicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) Lotto Belisol Team
7 Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre – ISD
8 Gianni Meersman (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team
9 Manuel Antonio Leal Cardoso (Por) Caja Rural
10 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Radioshack-Nissan
General classification after stage 2
1 Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Movistar Team 4:57:31
2 Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:01
3 Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Movistar Team
4 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team
5 Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar Team
6 Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:04
7 Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:00:10
8 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
9 Kevin De Weert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
10 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC Racing Team
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