Pello Bilbao secures comfortable stage two victory at the Tour of the Alps

The Spaniard benefitted from some well-executed tactics from his Bahrain-Victorious team-mates, taking the leader's jersey as a result

Pello Bilbao Tour of the Alps
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Pello Bilbao (Bahrain-Victorious) won the second stage of the Tour of the Alps today with a comfortable victory to Lana, seeing him taking the leader's jersey for the five-day stage race. 

Bilbao sat in the peloton for the majority of the race, with his Bahrain-Victorious team-mates mounting an attack against the lead riders in the final 10km. The group of four riders from the team then produced a well-executed lead-out for the stage winner to benefit from, with the Spaniard crossing the line first. 

Romain Bardet (Team DSM), tipped as Bilbao's likeliest challenger for the victory on the second stage, came home in second, while Attila Valter (Groupama-FDJ) rounded off the podium. 

HOW IT HAPPENED

 The peloton came into the second stage of the Tour of the Alps anticipating two huge climbs in the second part of the 154.1km route from San Martino di Castrozza to Lana. 

The Passo della Mendola presented a 15.3km climb at 6.5%, with the 12.9km ascent up Passo Palade seemed slightly easier at 4.1%, but still a difficult challenge shortly after the earlier climb. 

Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroën) wore the leader's jersey after his opening stage solo victory, but unfortunately, by the end of the second day, the Frenchman had lost considerable ground on the GC leaders. 

The race started with a 21.5km ascent to Passo Rolle, and featured ten riders creating a breakaway group. Among them was Miguel Ángel López (Astana Qazaqstan), who won the first KOM sprint of the day. The Colombian followed that start up by winning the intermediate sprint to Cavalese, too. 

By this point the leading group had built up a gap of three-and-a-half minutes to the peloton. While López certainly had the potential to win the race, among the group further back were also race favourites Pello Bilbao (Bahrain-Victorious) and Romain Bardet (Team DSM). 

Pavel Sivakov (Ineos Grenadiers) won the KOM Sprint to Passo della Mendola, and then proceeded to increase the tempo at the front of the race. Only Michael Storer (Groupama-FDJ) managed to hold on during this period, with the remaining riders from the initial breakaway dropping back into the peloton. 

However, with just 10km left in the race, Bahrain-Victorious started to move up through the gears, eventually catching the duo out front. From there, with Pello Bilbao now among the leaders of the race, Bahrain-Victorious started to dictate proceedings. The group of Mikel Landa, Santiago Buitrago and Hermann Pernsteiner helped set up a well-executed lead-out for Bilbao to benefit from, with the Spaniard launching off his final teammate's back wheel with 500m left in the race.

Bilbao crossed the line ahead of Romain Bardet (Team DSM) and Attila Valter (Groupama-FDJ), taking the leader's jersey in the process as Bouchard finished 34 seconds back. 

Meanwhile, Chris Froome continued to fail to make any inroads on the second stage, finishing 40th and 8-03 back on Bilbao. The Briton came 73rd on the opening day as his form continues to struggle. 

RESULTS 

TOUR OF THE ALPS, STAGE TWO: SAN MARTINO DI CASTROZZA TO LANA (154.1KM)

1. Pello Bilbao (Esp) Bahrain-Victorious, in 3-56-04
2. Romain Bardet (Fra) Team DSM, in same time
3. Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ
4. Felix Gall (Aut) AG2R Citroën Team
5. Eddie Dunbar (Ire) Ineos Grenadiers
6. Pavel Sivakov (Fra) Ineos Grenadiers
7. Esteban Chaves (Col) EF Education-EasyPost
8. Mikel Landa (Esp) Bahrain-Victorious
9. Richie Porte (Aus) Ineos Grenadiers
10. Einer Augusto Rubio (Col) Movistar

GENERAL CLASSIFICATION AFTER STAGE TWO

1. Pello Bilbao (Esp) Bahrain-Victorious, in 8-08-15
2. Romain Bardet (Fra) Team DSM, at 6s
3. Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ, at 12s
4. Felix Gall (Aut) AG2R Citroën Team, at 16s
5. Pavel Sivakov (Fra) Ineos Grenadiers
6. Richie Porte (Aus) Ineos Grenadiers
7. Esteban Chaves (Col) EF Education-EasyPost
8. Eddie Dunbar (Ire) Ineos Grenadiers
9. Einer Augusto Rubio (Col) Movistar
10. Santiago Buitrago (Col) Bahrain-Victorious 

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Staff Writer

Ryan is a staff writer for Cycling Weekly, having joined the team in September 2021. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before making his way to cycling. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer.