PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM
Chris Horner has looked on the verge of a back win for a couple of weeks now and in Thursday's second stage of the Tour of Romandy the American finally achieved it. Horner jumped clear from a group containing what are almost certain to be the overall contenders four kilometres to win on his own and take the leader's jersey from Paolo Savoldelli.
Long-time breakaways Roger Beuchat (LPR) and David Loosli (Lampre) were caught on the final climb of the day, the first-cat Col de la Croix, where a group of about 15 riders went clear. Among them was race leader Paolo Savoldelli (Discovery Channel), but Davitamon-Lotto had numbers on their side with Horner and Cadel Evans both present.
Caisse d'Epargne also had two riders up there in ProTour leader Alejandro Valverde and the in-form Joaquin Rodriguez. It was imperative for the rest of the group to be get of the fast-finishing Valverde to have any chance of victory, and Horner managed to do so in the company of Alexandre Moos and Jrg Jaksche, before attacking these two to seal his victory.
Horner's victory was Davitamon's second consecutive success after Robbie McEwen's win yesterday, and continues to relieve the pressure on the team after it failed to come up with a big win during the spring Classics.
"I had Cadel right next to me, so I had the tactical advantage on my side," said 35-year-old Horner, who admitted the main dangers to his lead are likely to be Valverde and Savoldelli. "They've hardly made a move so far. But we'll maybe see something from them in the final climbs on Friday or Saturday."
Stage 2, Porrentruy-Porrentruy
1 Chris Horner (USA) Davitamon-Lotto 171.2km in 4.16.22 (40.07kph)
2 Jrg Jaksche (Ger) Liberty Seguros 0.05
3 Alexandre Moos (Swi) Phonak
4 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 0.08
5 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Discovery Channel
6 Cadel Evans (Aus) Davitamon-Lotto
7 Andrei Kashechkin (Kaz) Liberty Seguros
8 Miguel A. M. Perdiguero (Spa) Phonak
9 Alberto Contador (Spa) Liberty Seguros
10 Dario Cioni (Ita) Liquigas
1 Chris Horner (USA) Davitamon-Lotto 8.31.11
2 Savoldelli 0.07
4 Moos 0.09
5 Jaksche 0.11
6 Cioni 0.17
8 Contador 0.19
9 Perdiguero 0.26
10 Kashechkin 0.30
PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM