Garmin-Sharp’s lightning fast Lithuanian Ramunas Navardauskas won the second stage of the Tour de Romandie following a whittled down sprint finish into the town of Granges.
The lanky rider is not normally known for his sprint; he last made the headlines in 2012 for briefly wearing the pink jersey of leader of the Giro d’Italia.
Nevertheless he grabbed his opportunity when a gap opened up in the peloton during the tight and twisty final kilometres, narrowly holding off Astana’s Enrico Gasparotto and stage one winner Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-Quickstep).
Chris Froome (Sky) finished safely in the bunch to hold on to his lead after Sky controlled the peloton for the duration of the stage in typical fashion. The overall classification remains unchanged this evening after all of his key rivals managed to stick with him too.
Although technically a flat finish, a tricky category three climb in the final 20km ruined the chances of the peloton’s pure sprinters, including Mark Cavendish.
The same climb also saw the lead of the day’s break, featuring Marcus Burghardt (BMC Racing), Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Matthias Brändle (IAM Cycling), evaporate in the bright heat of the Swiss afternoon.
It was a disappointing result for BMC in particular. The finish town of Granges is better known as the HQ of the Swiss bike manufacturer and team sponsor.
Unfortunately for company and team boss Andy Rihs, who has also sponsored an indoor velodrome in the town, his riders in red could do no better than Dominic Nerz’s fifth place.
Tour de Romandie 2013, stage two:Prilly/Ouest lausannois to Granges, 190.3km
1. Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Sharp) in 4-51-49
2. Enrico Gasparotto (Astana)
3. Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-Quickstep)
4. Luka Mezgec (Argos-Shimano)
5. Dominic Nerz (BMC Racing)
6. Francesco Gavazzi (Astana)
7. Jan Bakelants (Radioshack-Leopard)
8. Stef Clement (Blanco)
9. Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEdge)
10. Manuele Mori (Lampre-Merida) all at s.t.
Overall classification after stage two
1. Chris Froome (Sky)
2. Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) at 6 secs
3. Robert Kiserlovski (Radioshack-Leopard) at 13 secs
4. Richie Porte (Sky) at 15 secs
5. Rui Costa (Movistar) at 16 secs
6. Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) at 17 secs
7. Stef Clement (Blanco)
8. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)
9. Tom Danielson (Garmin-Sharp)
10. Wilco Kelderman (Blanco) all at 18 secs