Sports Director Laurenzo Lapage checks in following the second stage of Tour of Beijing.
We had two thoughts about the stage today. If it came to a sprint with a small group, we were prepared to ride for Allan Davis. I asked Leigh [Howard] and Wes [Sulzberger] to stay near Allan throughout the race. We also thought we would try to get in the breaks. I had Mitch [Docker] and Christian [Meier] looking after the early moves with Sebastian Langeveld and Simon Clarke ready later in the race.
An early break of five riders began the first category climb with a three minute advantage over the field. Euskaltel-Euskadi set a high pace in the peloton and caught the break halfway up the climb. Because of the high tempo up the climb, the peloton shattered. Three different groups formed. We had Simon in the front group.
Tony Martin (Omega Pharma – QuickStep) launched a solo attack and broke away from the front group. Simon had lost contact with the front group at this point. He was in the third group on the road heading into the finish. It was Tony, followed by seven chasers and then the group with Simon. This group with Simon almost caught the group ahead before the finish. In the end, Simon finished second in his group to take tenth on the stage.
Leigh also did a good ride on a hard course today. The others didn’t have the legs to be there in the end. Aidis [Kruopis] especially suffered. He finished the stage but was outside of the time limit, so he will not be allowed to continue.
Tomorrow is another tough stage with four categorized climbs. Stage three is the first summit finish. The day ends with a climb up to the Badaling Great Wall. We’ll look to Simon to lead the team on Thursday.