Danish rider Michael Blaudzun was given the yellow jersey at the end of yesterday's second stage of the Tour of Britain, but race leader Nick Nuyens later successfully appealed that he and many others had been delayed by a crash inside the last three kilometres. The CSC rider is second overall and is hoping to take the maillot jaune for real, starting the hilly third stage to Sheffield with a deficit of just seven seconds.
"This is the hardest stage of the Tour, there is no doubt about that," he said. "We will see what is going to happen. QuickStep is going to control the race from the beginning, but we will see at the end if I have some power in the legs and can try something."
Nick Nuyens finished second on this stage twelve months ago, but Blaudzun also knows these roads. "I was here last year, and have also done the climbs in the Leeds Classic many years ago. They are pretty hard and there are four or five on the road, so that will be tough.
"Nuyens seems pretty strong and we will see what is going to happen. If I don't get away today, I will gamble everything on the small time trial on Saturday, and hope for the best. It will be hard as the time trial is too short. Normally longer time trials suit me, but this one is like a prologue. It is also pretty important that you cut the corners right on a short time trial like that. If you do that and have good legs, then you can do something in a short time trial like that. But we will see.
"Normally I am a better rider than Nick in longer time trials but I don't know what will happen on a prologue like that. I don't know how strong he is in the short time trials."