Hondo wins Murcia time trial

After Alessandro Petacchi at Valencia, Danilo Hondo is the latest sprinter to dominate a Spanish sta

After Alessandro Petacchi at Valencia, Danilo Hondo is the latest sprinter to dominate a Spanish sta
PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM It was little surprise to see a Gerolsteiner rider winning the almost flat 22km time trial that comprised stage two of the Tour of Murcia, but few would have predicted that rider being team sprinter Danilo Hondo and not time trial specialist Michael Rich. But Hondo, last man off after his victory in the opening stage, came through with the only time below 26 minutes to beat Comunitat Valenciana's Ruben Plaza by 21 seconds and pre-stage favourite Ivan Gutierrez by 39. Plaza, who currently heads the Europe Tour continental standings, seemed the certain winner once he got inside the mark set by eventual fourth place finisher Rich and then saw Gutierrez fail to repeat his stage-winning performance of last year. But Gerolsteiner, who ended with four riders in the top 10, were not to be denied as Hondo came through the checks fastest and took a clear victory. Illes Balears emulated Gerolsteiner's feat with four top 10 finishers, one of whom was recent track-to-road convert Sergi Escobar. 2004 Giro winner Damiano Cunego also rode well to finish 16th, while Britain's team pursuit member Steve Cummings was a very creditable 34th riding for Landbouwkrediet. Tomorrow's 156km stage from Mula to Fortuna takes in two third-category climbs, but shouldn't prove beyond the clearly very on-form Hondo, who will be going for a hat-trick. Stage 2, Alhama de Murcia time trial 1 Danilo Hondo (Ger) Gerolsteiner 22km in 25.35 (51.59kph) 2 Ruben Plaza (Spa) Comunitat Valenciana 0.21 3 Jos Ivan Gutierrez (Spa) Illes Balears 0.39 4 Michael Rich (Ger) Gerolsteiner 0.50 5 Antonio Colom (Spa) Illes Balears 0.51 6 David Plaza (Spa) Barloworld 0.53 7 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Illes Balears 1.00 8 Sergi Escobar (Spa) Illes Balears 1.04 9 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Gerolsteiner 1.17 10 Uwe Peschel (Ger) Gerolsteiner 1.18 12 Ben Day (Aus) MrBookmaker.com 1.22 16 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Caffita 1.50 19 Rory Sutherland (Aus) Rabobank 1.57 20 Allan Davis (Aus) Liberty Seguros 1.58 34 Steve Cummings (GB) Landbouwkrediet 2.12 56 Jukka Vastaranta (Fin) Rabobank 2.39 60 Joseba Beloki (Spa) Liberty Seguros 2.43 Overall standings 1 Danilo Hondo (Ger) Gerolsteiner 4.12.33 2 Ruben Plaza (Spa) Comunitat Valenciana 0.21 3 Jos Ivan Gutierrez (Spa) Illes Balears 0.39 4 Michael Rich (Ger) Gerolsteiner 0.50 5 Antonio Colom (Spa) Illes Balears 0.51 6 David Plaza (Spa) Barloworld 0.53 7 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Illes Balears 1.00 8 Sergi Escobar (Spa) Illes Balears 1.04 9 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Gerolsteiner 1.17 10 Uwe Peschel (Ger) Gerolsteiner 1.18 12 Ben Day (Aus) MrBookmaker.com 1.22 16 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Caffita 1.50 19 Rory Sutherland (Aus) Rabobank 1.57 20 Allan Davis (Aus) Liberty Seguros 1.58 34 Steve Cummings (GB) Landbouwkrediet 2.12 56 Jukka Vastaranta (Fin) Rabobank 2.39 60 Joseba Beloki (Spa) Liberty Seguros 2.43
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