Christophe Moreau (Ag2r Prevoyance) is the new leader of the Critrium du Dauphin Libr after winning the second stage between Saint-Paul-en-Jarez and Saint-Etienne. Moreau attacked with Jos Antonio Redondo (Astana) and others with 16km to go in the 157km stage. He and Redondo were the only riders to survive until the end, with Moreau winning the sprint. Overnight leader Brad Wiggins (Cofidis) slipped to third overall after finishing in the peloton. “Initially the idea was to take time out on the big favourites,” Moreau said. “But then I opened up a really big gap, and so I kept going. Last year I lost a Dauphin stage on the Mont Ventoux by less than 40 centimetres. This time round it was do or die. I was determined to give it everything I could.” From start to finish The riders enjoyed sunshine and 20 degree temperatures at the start of stage 2 in Saint-Paul-en-Jarez. The parcours began with the cat. 3 col de la Gachet, which had its summit at km 11. Sylvain Calzati (Ag2r Prevoyance) attacked after four kilometres, and reached the top with a 1’30 lead over Gorka Verdugo (Euskaltel) and Mickal Delage (Franaise des Jeux). Aleksandr Kuschynski (Liquigas) and Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues) tried to bridge the gap on the descent, but all riders were caught at km 27. After 45km, the main escape of the day went as the aggressive Kuschynski attacked with Jerome Pineau (Bouygues Telecom). The bunch eased up and let the pair get 5’20 in just a few kilometres, before settling into a controlling tempo to keep the gap constant. Cofidis rode to protect Wiggins’ lead, and had the front two pegged at four minutes on the cat. 4 cte des Chambles (km 100.5). Mountains leader Sylvain Chavanel took third on the climb, and kept his polka-dotted jersey. The next climb, the cat. 3 cte de Saint-Romain-les-Atheux (km 123) saw the peloton start to split as Christophe Moreau (Ag2r), Jos Redondo (Astana), Kevin Seeldraeyers (Quick.Step), Xabier Zandio (Caisse d’Epargne) and Alexandre Botcharov (Crdit Agricole launched a counter attack. The chasers caught and dropped the two leaders before the 140km mark, putting a minute into the main peloton containing Brad Wiggins. The new breakaway thinned down to just two riders: Moreau and Redondo – the latter sitting on Moreau’s wheel to protect Astana team leader Alexandre Vinokourov. They lost some time over the final, downhill part of the stage, but at the finish in Saint-Etienne they still had half a minute on the bunch. Moreau won the two man sprint ahead of Redondo and took the yellow jersey. Moreau won the 2001 edition of this race, and even if he does not repeat that, he showed some good form in the lead up to the Tour. Tomorrow’s third stage will likely shake up the general classification again. It’s a 40.7km time trial around Anneyron, with a couple of moderate climbs. Stage 2 results 1 Christophe Moreau (Fra, Ag2r Prvoyance) 3:50:38 2 Jose Antonio Redondo (Spa, Astana) 3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa, Caisse d’Epargne) 0:00:32 4 Thor Hushovd (Nor, Crdit Agricole) 5 Heinrich Haussler (Ger, Gerolsteiner) 6 Anthony Geslin (Fra, Bouygues Tlcom) 7 Leonardo Duque (Col, Cofidis) 8 Philippe Gilbert (Bel, Franaise Des Jeux) 9 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus, Crdit Agricole) 10 Marcel Sieberg (Ger, Milram) 11 Bert Grabsch (Ger, T-Mobile) 12 Rubn Prez (Spa, Euskaltel-Euskadi) 13 Thomas Voeckler (Fra, Bouygues Telecom) 14 Pieter Weening (Ned, Rabobank) 15 Manuel Quinziato (Ita, Liquigas) 16 Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra, Cofidis) 17 George Hincapie (USA, Discovery Channel) 18 Ludovic Turpin (Fra, Ag2r Prvoyance) 19 Mads Kaggestad (Nor, Crdit Agricole) 20 Bobby Julich (USA, Team CSC) General classification after stage 2 1 Christophe Moreau (Fra, Ag2r Prvoyance) 2 Jose Antonio Redondo (Spa, Astana) 0:00:07 3 Bradley Wiggins (GBr, Cofidis) 0:00:24 4 Levi Leipheimer (USA, Discovery Channel) 0:00:25 5 Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz, Astana) 0:00:26 6 George Hincapie (USA, Discovery Channel 7 Alejandro Valverde (Spa, Caisse d’Epargne) 00:00:27 8 David Zabriskie (USA, Team CSC) 9 Egoi Mart¡nez (Spa, Discovery Channel) 00:00:29 10 Sbastien Joly (Fra, Franaise Des Jeux) 00:00:30 11 David Millar (GBr, Saunier Duval-Prodir) 12 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra, Cofidis) 13 Stef Clement (Ned, Bouygues Telecom) 00:00:31 14 Thomas Voeckler (Fra, Bouygues Telecom) 15 Thor Hushovd (Nor, Crdit Agricole) 16 Andriy Grivko (Ukr, Milram) 17 Alberto Contador (Spa, Discovery Channel) 00:00:32 18 Bert Grabsch (Ger, T-Mobile) 00:00:33 19 Mikel Astarloza (Spa, Euskaltel-Euskadi) 20 Alexander Vinokourov (Kaz, Astana) Got a comment? Discuss this in the Procycling forum. What else is new? Check out the Procycling blog.
Brad Wiggins is out of the yellow jersey after the second stage of the Dauphiné Libéré was won by Ch