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Hammond makes up for yesterday, Nuyens holds on

By Shane Stokes in Blackpool

Home favourite Roger Hammond made up for his disappointment in missing the break yesterday when he won today's second stage of the Tour of Britain in Blackpool. The Great Britain rider sprinted home ahead of breakaway companion Robin Sharman (Recycling.co.uk/Litespeed), with another GB rider, 20 year old Mark Cavendish, showing great speed in taking the bunch sprint for third.

Overnight race leader Nick Nuyens (QuickStep) was held up behind a crash in the run-in to the finish, crossing the line several seconds down. The race judges awarded the yellow jersey to yesterday's runner-up Michael Blaudzun (Team CSC), only for the Belgian to successfully appeal on the grounds that the mishap had occurred inside the final three kilometres. Nuyens was therefore awarded the same finishing time as the bunch and will hold yellow going into tomorrow's mountain stage to Sheffield.

Today's stage was marked by a long distance breakaway by three riders – Hammond, Sharman and Kevin Van Impe (Chocolade Jacques), the nephew of six time Tour de France KOM winner Lucien. These went clear inside the first 20 kilometres of racing and built up a maximum lead of 10 minutes and 40 seconds, before the inevitable charge by the peloton brought the gap right back down. With ten kilometres to go they had just over one minute on the bunch, and when Van Impe punctured five kilometres from the line it seemed certain that they would be caught. However, Hammond felt that the Belgian had been soft pedaling and once he was removed from the equation, both he and Sharman were able to fully apply themselves to the task at hand. It proved to be enough for them to fight it out for the stage win.

Stage 2 full results & report

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