British rider, Roger Hammond, who won last years stage two into Blackpool, again won on the second day but this time the host finish was down the coast in Liverpool, under the watchful eye of the Liver building and supported by a large and vocal crowd. Unlike last year, however, Hammond won the stage in a sprint finish whereas last year it was by a lone escape.
Taking time out from his Discovery team to ride for team Great Britain, the popular 32 year-old said at the stage start in Blackpool that he felt unsure of his form, having not raced for over a month, but proved what a powerhouse he is after a testing day which took in the beauty of the Trough of Bowland along with its short but gruelling climbs.
After his win a clearly delighted Hammond paid tribute to his young and untried team mates, and said, 'This is a totally different feeling to last year when I won the stage but the race was already over. I didn't even think about winning until the last five kilometres but it was a great team effort from Great Britain.' With the race still open who knows what Hammond might be planning for the next four days.
Yesterday's overall leader, Martin Pedersen, who came from the first stage breakaway trio was today usurped by one of his fellow-escapees, the young Australian Mathew Goss, who looked completely overwhelmed when he pulled on the yellow jersey to give him his biggest result of a very short career. In typical Aussie style Goss said, 'I'm stoked to be wearing the yellow jersey.' If the 19 year-old Mat Goss has ever wondered, 'When will I, will I be famous,' then it doesn't look to be too far off.1. Roger Hammond - Great Britain
2. Aart Vierhouten - Skil-Shimano
3. Russell Downing - DFL-Cycling News
4. Mark Cavendish - T-Mobile
5. James Vanlandschoot - Landbouwkrediet-Colnago