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Live coverage

Eneco Tour 2010: Stage 2

Hello and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of stage two of the Eneco Tour.

Today’s 198.5km stage is from St. Willebrord in the Netherlands to Ardooie in Belgium. We are expecting another sprint finish.

 

50km remaining from 198km

There is 50km to go in the stage with the riders up on the schedule. There are three riders in the breakway of the day: Vitaliy Buts (Lampre-Farnese Vini), Johan Coenen (Topsport Vlaanderen) and Miguel Minguez (Euskaltel-Euskadi). They jumped away at the start of the stage and still have a lead of 4:40.
 

The peloton is rolling along in pursuit but the speed is not yet high. The riders know they should be able to catch the trio based on the usual parameter of pulling back a minute every 10km.

Canada's Michael Barry (Team Sky) did not start this morning after his crash yesterday. He fractured a rib in a crash.

He said: "I was disappointed that I was unable to start this morning but the pain and injury are too severe to keep going. I will need a few weeks to recover fully and hopefully I will be able to maintain some fitness for the ProTour races in Canada."

The Canadian races are on September 10 and 12.

44km remaining from 198km

Barry is out of the race but his teammates are working hard today, perhaps hoping Edvald Boasson Hagen can win today.

Garmin-Transitions riders are sharing the work with Team Sky.

Chris Froome (Team Sky) is off the back after a front wheel puncture. But he had a quick wheel change and si now chasing to get back in the bunch.

Froome replaced Bradley Wiggins at the Eneco Tour but Team Sky has today announced that Wiggins will take Froome's place in the GP Plouay in France on Sunday.

The trio up front are still working well together but the gap is coming down and is now 3:50

The weather is pretty good today and the Flemish cycling fans are out to see the Eneco Tour today. The finish is the in the heart of Western Flanders.

33km remaining from 198km

The pace is increasing in the peloton and the gap to the break is melting fast.

The peloton is all across the road as more and more teams fight for the front. Riders are coming up on the outside of the bunch on the bike path and concrete strip on the side. They are are even swerving around cars parked on the other side of the road.

Stijn Devolder (Quick Step) is showing his Belgian national champion's jersey on the front of the peloton. He is riding close to riders from Vacansoleil, the team he will be with in 2011.

30km remaining from 198km

The break has just two minutes advantage, with 30km to go. The trio are suffering up front.

Oops. Several riders were forced to go around a car and squeeze through a gap after following the bike path at a roundabout. 

Michiel Elijzen (Omega Pharma-Lotto) stops to change a rear wheel and is chasing hard to get back on.

24km remaining from 198km

The riders will soon contest the last intermediate sprint and then get a chance to see the finish before a final circuit of 15km.

Miguel Minguez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) wins the sprint with a cheeky late throw of the bike at the line.

Astana has now moved to the front, with Enrico Gasparotto doing a turn before fellow Italian Mriko Selvaggi does his bit. Astana is working for Allan Davis. He was third in the sprint yesterday.

Astana has five riders working on the front.

21km remaining from 198km

The trio are in sight now, with the gap just 20 seconds.

21km remaining from 198km

Robbie McEwen (Katusha) is now up near the front. He is wearing the bright red points jersey today.

Johan Coenen (Topsport Vlaanderen) and Miguel Minguez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) refuse to give up and are trying to stay clear.  Vitaliy Buts (Lampre-Farnese Vini) has thrown in the towel and sat up.
 

17km remaining from 198km

Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Saxo Bank) has taken a tumble in a tight corner as the bunch closes down on the last tow riders.

15km remaining from 198km

The race has now seen the finish and the riders will be worired about the tight corners and narrow roads in the final kilometres. Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Saxo Bank) is still trying to fix his bike after the crash. He may not be up there in the sprint today.

The peloton is on a narrow country lane now.

Saxo Bank and Liquigas-Doimo are now on the front of the peloton. Liquigas is riding for Francesco Chicchi.

Rabobank and HTC-Columbia are also gathering on the front. This is going to a fast and highly fought out finish. 

11km remaining from 198km

The riders are covering a main road now but will soon have to twist and turn in the lanes.

A tight right corners leaves the rides at the back almost coming to a standstill. Now for a massive acceleration to get back up to speed. That will hurt.

8km remaining from 198km

Three riders have clipped off the front but they are not being allowed to open a huge gap. Garmin are controlling the trio and the gap is only 100 metres. 

7km remaining from 198km

A flat for Maxim Gourov (Astana). He won't get back on.

HTC-Columbia are moving up on the left of the bunch. As Angelo Furlan (Lampre) has a rear flat.

5km remaining from 198km

Four HTC-Columbia on the front with 5km to go.

Tony Martin is doing another big turn on the front. HTC look good but is it a little early?

Other riders and teams are trying to muscle in now as the bunch takes a sweeping right. Selvaggi crashes on the kerb.

3km remaining from 198km

Team Sky on the front now. They have four riders including Geraint Thomas.

2km remaining from 198km

Liquigas has taken over. the big left corners is coming up.

1km remaining from 198km

Daniel Oss of Liquigas leading out.

Team Sky riding for Boason Hagen.

Sky lead it out by Andre Griepel (HTC-Columbia) comes through to win it.

That is Boasson Hagen's seventeenth win of the 2010 season.

Robbie McEwen (Katusha) was second despite being stuck on the inside of the road.

Boasson Hagen got a good lead out from Team Sky but Greipel was on his wheel and timed his sprint perfectly.

Lucas Heado (Saxo Bank) was fourth despite his late crash.

Canada's Svein Tuft (Garmin-Transitions) has been confirmed as overall race leader.

Here is the provsional top ten from the stage:

That's all from the live coverage from today. Join us again tomorrow for the 191km stage three. It is a mini Tour of Flanders. 

Provisional stage result

1 André Greipel (Ger) Team HTC - Columbia 4:46:50
2 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Team Katusha
3 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Professional Cycling Team
4 Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Arg) Team Saxo Bank
5 Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ
6 Enrique Mata Cabello (Spa) Footon-Servetto
7 Wouter Weylandt (Bel) Quick Step
8 Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo
9 Allan Davis (Aus) Astana
10 Kenny De Haes (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto

Leader:  Svein Tuft (Garmin-Transitions)

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