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by Shane Stokes
April 18, 2018
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Miguel Angel Lopez continued Astana’s run of success when he won stage two of the Tour of the Alps on Tuesday. He took the queen stage of the race into Alpe di Pampeago, outsprinting Frenchman Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and fellow Colombian Ivan Sosa (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec). Chris Froome (Team Sky) was fourth, four seconds back, with Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida) a further three seconds adrift.
“In these days, we showed we have the strongest team, and not only for the two stage victories,” said Lopez. “But there are still many climbs to tackle in this Tour of the Alps, and the GC is still relatively short. Froome, Pinot, Pozzovivo, and Sosa himself will be hard rivals to face, until the end.”
The 145.5 kilometre stage began in Lavarone and traversed two categorized climbs en route to the summit finish. The day’s break comprised Marco Frapporti (Androni Giocattoli), Omer Goldstein (Israel Cycling Academy), Jacopo Mosca (Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia), Oscar Rodriguez (Euskadi-Murias), Stephen Rabitsch (Team Felbermayr Simplon) and Quentin Jauregui (AG2R La Mondiale). The latter was the last to be caught, finally being recaptured with 4.8 kilometres to go.
FDJ was driving the pace for Pinot and Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates) was dropped. Team Sky then took over, with Kenny Elissonde setting things up for a Froome attack with 1km to go. However his high cadence move lacked staying power and the others came back to him, with Pinot launching. This was covered by the other favourites, after which Pozzovivo attacked.
Froome dragged the others up to him, but the Italian remained on the front and led out the sprint. Lopez then made his move and while Pinot chased hard, he was unable to get past him before the line. Sosa leads overall, six seconds ahead of Pinot and Lopez.