Team Sky took control of the Tour of Britain, with their Kiwi rider Greg Henderson benefiting from the sterling work of his team-mates Bradley Wiggins and Geraint Thomas to win the second stage in Stoke-on-Trent.

The three Team Sky riders got into an 18-man break that shaped the 160-kilometre stage, and  proved decisive for the overall classification.

Andre Greipel, the winner of Saturday’s opening stage in Blackpool, missed the split and lost the yellow jersey to Henderson.

The break gained a lead of nine minutes and still had a commanding lead over the bunch at the finish.

Escaping after just 12 kilometres during a very fast opening passage of racing, Henderson, Thomas and Wiggins were joined by Tony Martin and Michael Albasini of HTC-Columbia, Richie Porte and Jaroslav Marycz of Saxo Bank, Dan Craven (Rapha Condor Sharp), Christian Meier and Travis Meyer (Garmin-Transitions), Gianluca Brambilla and Federico Canuti (Colnago-CSF), Patrik Sinkewitz (ISD), Heinrich Haussler (Cervélo), Borut Bozic (Vacansoleil) Koen De Kort (Skil-Shimano), Borut Bozic and Michael Golas (Vacansoleil) and Rob Partridge of Endura Racing. Johnny Hoogerland of Vacansoleil later rode across.

Tony Martin and two others were dropped on Gun Hill, so 15 riders were left to fight it out. The group split, with Porte trying to go for a solo win but was recaptured and it came back together.

With 12 kilometres left, Haussler and Golas atacked and clung onto a ten-second lead, but they too were chased down.

It was largely down to the work done by Britain’s national road race champion, Geraint Thomas, who pulled the gap down before easing up with a couple of kilometres to go.

Wiggins did a huge turn to set up Henderson for the win, before also dropping off the pace.

With so few sprinters in the lead group, Henderson is now a good bet for the overall victory. Certainly Team Sky’s directeur sportif Steven De Jongh said they would be defending the lead.

The bunch came in more than 10 minutes down.

But the coming days will be decisive. Monday’s third stage finishes just over the top of Constitution Hill, a narrow, cobbled hill in Swansea. The bunch is likely to break up on Black Mountain earlier in the day but Constitution Hill will sort things out. Then come two very difficult days in the west country. If Henderson can follow the moves, he will be in a strong position come the last three stages, which all favour sprinters and offer time bonuses.

Henderson now leads Albasini, Haussler and Porte by 14 seconds but only 12 riders are within a minute of the lead. Rob Partridge is the best-placed British rider, 13th at 23 seconds. Wiggins is 14th at 1-36 with Thomas 15th at 2-08, so a British overall victory is looking a little unlikely.

Team Sky did not send Henderson to the post-race press conference to reflect on his victory and the yellow jersey, and Bradley Wiggins does not talk to Cycling Weekly.

Stage two: Stoke-on-Trent – Stoke-on-Trent
1. Greg Henderson (NZ) Team Sky 160km in 3-59-52
2. Michael Albasini (Swi) HTC-Columbia
3. Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Cervélo
4. Koen De Kort (Ned) Skil-Shimano
5. Patrick Sinkewitz (Ger) ISD-Neri all same time
6. Travis Meyer (Aus) Garmin-Transitions at 3sec
7. Michael Golas (Ned) Vacansoleil
8. Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil
9. Borut Bozic (Slo) Vacansoleil
10. Dan Craven (Nam) Rapha Condor Sharp all same time

1. Greg Henderson (NZ) Team Sky in 7-16-23
2. Michael Albasini (Swi) HTC-Columbia at 14sec
3. Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Cervélo
4. Richie Porte (Aus) Saxo Bank both same time
5. Koen De Kort (Ned) Skil-Shimano at 17sec
6. Michal Golas (Pol) Vacansoleil at 18sec
7. Patrick Sinkewitz (Ger) ISD same time
8. Borut Bozic (Slo) Vacansoleil at 20sec
9. Travis Meyer (Aus) Garmin-Transitions at 23sec
10. Dan Craven (Nam) Rapha Condor Sharp same time

The Prostate Cancer Charity points competition Henderson
King of the mountains Porte
Sprints competition Porte

Bradlwy Wiggins heads break, Tour of Britain 2010, stage 2

Bradley Wiggins heads the break

Greg Henderson wins, Tour of Britain 2010, stage 2

Greg Henderson takes the stage two win, and race lead

Classification leaders, Tour of Britain 2010, stage 2

The classification leaders

Tour of Britain 2010: Related links

Stage one: Greipel sprints to Tour of Britain opener

Thomas takes positives from race opener

Tour of Britain 2010: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index

  • The Bolton Bullet

    “Supposed stature” is correct. Wiggins in last year’s tour was a thoroughbred. This year he has flattered to deceive and has left me feeling he is nothing more than a show pony. This combined with his appalling attitude when he does condescend to talk to the press, leaves me rather relieved that he doesn’t talk to Cycling Weekly. Maybe the cycling press shouldn’t bother even attempting to speak to anyone from Team Sky – How ARE they a British Team anyway, with only 8 out of 24 rostered riders British and the team being sponsored by a subsidiary of an US registered Aussie owned Global Media Company..? Then watch them come running for the publicity

  • Cavologuardi

    I can only conclude that Sky must have been worried about HH to let Thomas and Wigans put in turns like that over the last 4km… Haussler had already tried to pull away once despite having a gammy leg.

    Gee baled out of the Worlds cos he doesn’t think he’s in good form at the mo’, so I guess he’s no intention of going for the overall here and was happy to sacrifice himself… and as for Brad, you never can tell, the mardy bum… Fonzie missed the day’s break… and so the decision to pull for Hendo was made. Sulking in the bus after winning the stage is more than a little odd, though, and suggests I’m probably wrong.

  • old hedgey

    What are SKY playing at? If G had been wearing the race leaders jersey going home today the consequent publicity for the team and more importantly for cucling as a whole, would have been massive with a capital M. I get the feeling that his talents are being badly managed, firstly working himself to a shadow in the Tour, for what?, and now this

  • MIKE

    It begs the question what are Wiggins and Thomas doing in the TOB? In global cycling terms its a chipper.
    Yes it would be nice to have a Brit win the local race but surely guys of Wiggins and Thomas suposed stature should be in the Vuelta ,or preparing for the Worlds.
    If the highlight of Brads season is his win in the British TT champs I think it can safely be judged a disaster after the promise of last year.

  • Mark Jones

    Like others have said, it was very disappointing to see Wiggins and Thomas putting all that work in to set up Henderson who was best placed sprinter anyway. Team Sky have a lot to learn and this was up there with sending Wiggins out before all the main contenders at the Tour prologue. Sky had three options for GC with 10k to go yesterday but managed to kiss goodbye to the chances of a Brit winning their home tour.

  • Steve Boddy

    Totally agree with James Smith’s comments above. Looks like no Brit challenge for another year

  • Grump

    Why doesn’t wiggins talk to cw?

  • Steve Walton

    What are Team Sky thinking of? OK so they got the stage but why destroy any hopes if Wiggins of Thomas of winning the overall? They came in so far behind, after driving the break that they are un-likely to be able to gain that much extra time. Sponsors are in the sport for publicity, and what better publicity for a British team than for a British rider to win the Tor of Britain? It’s so frustrating!!!

  • james smith

    CW must have been watching a different race to me?? Wiggo and Thomas should have a good look at themselves this is their home tour and thomas is in the National jersey and they are doing lead outs for a kiwi??

    1. wiggo was on the front for a few seconds certainly not a huge turn
    2. that finish was perfect for thomas so why on earth was he sent to the front

    Come on guys it may be a small tour to you but its still the best we have got.

  • Justin

    6th placed Michael Golas is Polish – he just rides for a Dutch team

  • Cavologuardi

    Shedding all that weight for last year’s Tour has seemingly left our Brad a little thin-skinned. The road rash he collected on the run in to Utrecht during this year’s Giro didn’t help either, and some of the criticism aimed at his team by hacks from The Comic after his subsequent loss of the maglia rosa was not appreciated, allegedly.

    Team Sky looked pretty awesome today, though, didn’t they? Half the team in a really strong break and Hendo winning a tough finish. I was half expecting Kristian House to be there or thereabouts today but the Doms look to be struggling a wee bit.

  • The Pinarello Prince of Bel-Air

    Why won’t Wiggo speak to CW? Is he bored of you all kissing his bottom and making his excuses for him? Come on CW, give us some objective coverage and perhaps he’ll respect you. No one likes a creepy crawler. I can’t recall a negative word about him. Even when was getting dropped you said he had it all under control!!!

  • Mike T.

    Why doesn’t Wiggo talk to CW?