Crash denies ORICA-GreenEDGE on stage 2 of Tour de l'Eurometropole

Fri 3 Oct 2014

ORICA-GreenEDGE suffered from bad luck on stage two of the Tour de l’Eurometropole as a crash in the final took down four riders, denying them the opportunity to set up for the sprint finish.

Following on from his third place yesterday, Belgian Jens Keukeleire remained upright to finish 19th as the top finisher for the team. 

The crash, which took out an aggressive ORICA-GreenEDGE sprint train including Mathew Hayman, Jens Mouris and Sam Bewley, also affected the race ambitions of debutant Magnus Cort who also fell victim.

“There was a big big crash on the last lap around seven to eight hundred metres from the finish and we had actually four guys involved in that,” sport director Laurenzo Lapage said.

“Luckily there is no one injured but because of that crash, despite Magnus taking one of the bonus seconds in the last intermediate sprint to move up in the overall, he is now out of the general classification race.”

Less than 15km from the finish, Cort was positioned well at the front of the field to collect the bonus second as per the team strategy.

“The idea at the start of the day was to get bonus seconds,” Lapage explained.

“We know that come the final day this race will be won by just one or two seconds because there is no wind here at the moment to offer up the opportunity for a surprise attack.”

Keukeleire and his surviving teammate Mitch Docker tried to salvage something in the final, but were no match for the power of’s Arnaud Demare who also avoided trouble to capture his second consecutive stage win of the tour.

Earlier in the day after various attacks during the first 50km of racing, including an attempt by ORICA-GreenEDGE’s Hayman, a group of five riders were eventually allowed to get away to form the day’s main break at the 60km mark.

But Aleksejs Saramotins (IAM), Sander Cordeel (VGS), Willem Wauters (WIL), Thomas Wertz (CCB) and Jonathan Dufrasne (WBC) were kept on a tight rein putting a maximum of just over two minutes into a determined peloton lead by stage one victors and overall leaders before it all came back together for the dramatic bunch sprint.

Tomorrow, the penultimate stage three of the Tour de l’Eurometropole, takes riders on a 174km course from Blankenberge to Middelkerke.