Bakelants Soloes to Stage Win, Yellow Jersey
Jan Bakelants (RadioShack-Leopard) has soloed to victory at the Tour de France 2013. The 27-year-old Belgian surged away from five companions in the last two km and held on to win Stage 2, a hilly, 156-km ride from Bastia to Ajaccio, Corsica in 3:43:11. Peter Sagan (Cannondale) outsprinted Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) for second at 0:01. Bakelants’s exploit has given him the yellow jersey.
m that I still had a gap, and I told myself, ‘Come on, hold this. It’s going to be the nicest day of your life.’ And then I did it.
“Coming in the last 10 km we were quite a big group, and I cannot win in a sprint. I had to gamble and go. When we were six in the finale, I knew if everybody gave 100 percent that it was possible to go to the finish. It felt so easy in the break, and every time I went to the front, I felt like I rode faster than the other guys. I don’t know, maybe I was just stronger than the others. In the end, I was thinking, ‘Come on! Are we going to ride and be the first six riders, or are we just going to wait for the bunch to come back and see another win of Sagan?’ I kept the gap, and in the radio they were shouting for me to go. I was pushing my 11, and it didn’t look good but I went fast. I just kept pushing the pedals. And when I looked back and saw that I had it, I said, ‘I’m going to win! I’m going to win a stage in the Tour de France!’ I’ve had to wait five years, but what a victory! It’s hard to believe, but it’s the second day of the Tour, so now our nerves are settled. It’s incredible.”
In the overall, Bakelants leads Peter Sagan (Cannondale) and Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) by 0:01. Stage 3 might change the standings again. The hilly, 145.5-km ride from Ajaccio to Calvi will feature a Category 4 climb, two Category 3s, and a Category 2, with the riders breasting the last of these 13.5 km from the finish. A small group of escapees will probably fight for the win and maybe the yellow jersey. Who will be in the group? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!
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