Filippo Pozzato (Quick.Step) won the second stage of the Tour of Germany yesterday by the narrowest of margins, with race judges needing the finish photo to determine that the Italian had edged out Jörg Jaksche (Liberty Seguros) by a matter of millimetres. Mauricio Ardila Cano (Davitamon-Lotto) was third.
Jaksche made his move about 2km from the finish, breaking away from the 30-strong lead group. With 280 metres to go, Pozzato launched himself after Jaksche catching and - just - passing him on the line.
"When the race had finished no one seemed to know who had won!" said Pozzato "The judges had to refer to the photo finish picture to decide who the winner was. When Jaksche made his move I thought, 'okay, here we go' but decided to wait a bit before making my own move, then when I got to the 300 metre mark I thought 'I better get going' otherwise he would have won the race."
Pozzato said he had worked hard to stay with the lead group. "There were two climb sections during the final," he said, "one of about 10 kilometres long and the other a little bit shorter just a few kilometres from the finish line. It was hard work but I managed to keep up along with the best riders - all in all there were no more than 15 of us."
His win puts Pozzato into second place on GC, behind yesterday's winner and his team-mate Bram Tankink.
"I am very happy with how I rode today," said Pozzato "I'll be putting myself at my team-mate's disposal for the general classifications. I also want to do well in light of the World Championships. If [Italian national coach Franco] Ballerini calls me I'll be ready to accept any role he offers!"