Tour of Britain (st. 2)
Telephonic squad becomes biggest attacking force in a demanding stage two to Kendal, with attacks from Madrazo -new KOM leader-, Sanz and a consistent Nairo Quintana. Visconti crashes out with no major consequences
In only their second day of competition in the Isles, the Movistar Team made clear its competitive, battling atittude coming into the 10th Tour of Britain. The 169-kilometer stage two from Carlisle to Kendal in Cumbria saw loads of attacks from the squad directed by José Luis Jaimerena, starting with one of their riders -Cantabrian Ángel Madrazo- making it into a seven-man early breakaway which came in front to the demanding Honister Pass (Cat-1), with 3km including slopes up to 25% gradient.
At the climb, Nairo Quintana decided to shake things up and respond to an attack by Dan Martin (GRS). The duo joined Madrazo after the descent -Ángel having become the new KOM jersey holder while also taking the Combativity award-, trying to break harmony into a peloton which eventually caught the escapees with 35k from the finish. Enrique Sanz attempted to keep the pace high with another move, but his short gap -barely half a minute, due to Sky’s insistence- invited him to save energy for further opportunities.
The negative note of the day had come earlier into the race, with a pile-up involving Giovanni Visconti. The Italian suffered “a deep blow and bruises in my knee and leg“, as explained by him after the stage, and chose to abandon without any other major injuries. Gerald Ciolek (MTN), winner of the day’s stage, will roll down the start ramp in Knowsley on Tuesday -a 16.1km/10-mile ITT scheduled in the Merseyside-, with Dowsett and Quintana starting 31 and 51 seconds behind the yellow jersey, respectively.