Plaza, Madrazo on the attack at tight finish of day two in Route du Sud; Gène (EUC) wins, with Ventoso in 8th place
Much of the fighting spirit from the Movistar Team could be seen on stage two of the Route du Sud, the French event continuing its way across the northern side of the Pyrenees with an 182-kilometer route including two loops arround the village of Villecomtal-sur-Arros. The squad directed by José Luis Arrieta played its cards again in the finale today: after Frenchman Florent Barle (COF), the last of the main escapees of the day, was caught with 12k remaining, Rubén Plaza led an attack alongside Italian Franco Pellizotti (AND) and locals Voeckler (EUC), Gadret (ALM) and Courteille (FDJ), almost bridged by a valiant Ángel Madrazo.
Plaza’s action was taken down with 3k from the finish by a charging peloton from which Yohann Gène (EUC) surged to win the final sprint. Fran Ventoso had another difficult finish and got boxed in before eventually overtaking positions to claim 8th. The Spanish road champion -in his last race in red-yellow colours- is still in the top board of the standings -he’s now 6th, eight seconds off the lead- before the real test for the GC riders on Saturday: 175km between Izaourt and Bagnères-de-Luchon with the climbs of Peyragudes, Val Louron and the infamous Port de Balès (all Cat-1.)
Picture (c): Thierry Bordas / La Depeche du Midi