Freire Grabs Second Straight Stage of Ruta del Sol
Oscar Freire (Rabobank) has won his second consecutive stage of the Ruta del Sol. The two-time world champion won a bunch sprint to snare Stage 2, a 165-km run from Sevilla to Huelva, in 4:04:47. Jaan Kirsipuu (Ag2r) finished second, and Luca Paolini (Quick Step) took third. Freire remains the race leader.
After several abortive sallies, Jurgen Van Goolen (Quick Step) attacked at 35 km. The Belgian's lead ballooned to 7:16 at 63 km and 11:00 at 98 km. At that point, Telekom, Phonak, Rabobank, and Kelme began to chase.
Within 20 km, the pursuit had taken five minutes out of Van Goolen. At 148 km, the bunch reeled in the break. Ruslan Ivanov (Alessio) attempted to escape, but the peloton reeled him in. The stage came down to a sprint, which Freire won.
In the overall, Freire leads Paolini and Erik Zabel (Telekom). The three share a time of 8:51:16. Stage 3 will change the standings. The 166.6-km ride from Sevilla to Lucena will feature a Category 1 finishing climb. Who will prevail? Check in at http://www.roadcycling.com/ and find out!