Lucas Hamilton takes over at the top after second place on Coppi e Bartali stage twoThu 28 Mar 2019
Australian Lucas Hamilton moved into the race lead of the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali after finishing second on a hilly stage two in Italy.
The 23-year-old jumped clear from the peloton with Mikel Landa (Movistar Team) on the final lap of a tough finishing circuit, with the duo staying away to contest the finish.
The Spaniard got the jump on Hamilton in the run to the line, but the prize for second place was the leader’s jersey and a 16-second lead in the overall.
With five climbs on the cards, including the passing of the Ville di Monte Tiffi on three occasions, Mitchelton-SCOTTwere happy to let a breakaway of six go clear.
The gap to the escapees began to fall as the race approached the Ville di Monte Tiffi for the first time and Giovanni Visconti (Neri Sottoli - Selle Italia – KTM) went solo over the top, while attacks began in the peloton behind.
Tough Finishing Loops
The race was all back together as the pack approached the last lap, with one more climb still left to contend with.
The final ascent presented a key opportunity for attacks and Landa took that chance as he jumped away from the bunch and he was quickly followed by Hamilton.
The pace in the peloton stalled as teams scrambled to get organised and form a chase, with Mitchelton-SCOTT happy to see Hamilton go up the road. As the finale approached it was clear it was going to be a two-up sprint for the victory, with Landa taking the day while Hamilton took the leader’s jersey.
“The stage today was a pretty solid day and because we had the jersey the team rode awesome on the front all day and controlled the whole race. Everyone did an amazing job which made it easy for us guys who were waiting for the final climb."
"We pretty much just made sure that we held onto the GC today, obviously a stage win would have been nice but it was good to be able to cover all the moves and we had a couple of options."
"The plan was just to keep it all together and control it until the final climb and then try and cover the moves that came."
"We weren’t too stressed about Movistar as they lost time in the TTT yesterday, but obviously Landa was the strongest climber today so when he went I went with him hoping we could get a gap on the Team Sky guys who weren’t so far behind on the GC."
Matt Wilson (Sports Director):
“The breakaway went with no serious GC contenders so we were happy to let that go and we basically controlled the whole day until we hit the circuits.”
“The guys rode incredible, it was never really in doubt that we wouldn’t bring it back and then on the last lap Landa attacked and Hamilton went with him.”
“Back in the bunch we still had (Damien) Howson and (Nick) Schultz behind and they did a good job of blocking the road.”
“It’s a shame for Lucas to not get the win but we’re very happy that we’ve increased our lead in the general classification and we’re in a pretty good position now going into stage three.”
Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali Stage 2 Results:
1. Mikel Landa (Movistar-Team) 3:51:54
2. Lucas Hamilton (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:01
3. Alexander Kamp (Riwal Readynez Cycling Team) +0:11
Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali GC After Stage 2:
1. Lucas Hamilton (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 6:23:33
2. Damien Howson (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:16
3. Nick Schultz (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:16
Photo courtesy of Getty Images.