International Cycling

Debusschere outsprints Sagan

2015-03-12 18:00
Jens Debusschere (AFP)

Milan - Belgian champion Jens Debusschere has outsprinted Slovakian Peter Sagan as Mark Cavendish narrowly avoided a crash in the finale of the 153km second stage of Tirreno-Adriatico from Camaiore to Cascina on Thursday.

Debusschere, of the Lotto-Belisol team, powered to victory in just over three-and-a-half hours after keeping ahead of a crash in the home straight which notably took down Sky's Italian Elia Viviani and took British sprint king Cavendish out of victory contention.

Italian Adriano Malori, who won the opening stage time-trial on Wednesday, retained the overall race lead with Sagan now in second place on the same time, thanks to a finishing bonus, with Swiss Fabian Cancellara third, one second behind.

The overall race favourites, Alberto Contador, Vincenzo Nibali and Nairo Quintana avoided the carnage and kept their powder dry, notably for the uphill finish on stage three as well as a much hillier stage four on Saturday.

A day after beating Cancellara by just one second to win the opening stage time-trial over 5.4km, Malori's race lead was never really in danger with the sprinters and their teams keen to set up a bunch finish on the home straight of Cascina.

A seven-man breakaway was allowed to form early on but it was kept on a relatively tight rein as the bunch raced over mainly flat terrain towards the Tuscan town, about 60km west of Florence.

The last three riders were reeled in with 15 km to race, setting up an ideal scenario for a classic bunch sprint to the finish line.

But after a first crash, 11.5 km out from the finish, took down several riders including Yaroslav Popovych and Canadian Svein Tuft, disaster struck in the final 200 metres.

The victory hopes of Viviani and British sprint king Cavendish (Etixx-QuickStep) were ended when the pair crossed wheels. Viviani came crashing down, splaying several riders across the road, and Cavendish slowed down to effectively take himself out of victory contention.

Debusschere powered up the middle to beat Sagan by a bike's length with Ireland's Sam Bennett taking third ahead of Russian Alexander Porsev and American Tyler Farrar.

Results from the second stage of Tirreno-Adriatico, a 153 km ride from Camaiore to Cascina on Thursday:


1. Jens Debusschere (BEL) Lotto-Belisol 3hr 30min 18sec, 2. Peter Sagan (SVK) same time, 3. Sam Bennett (IRL) s.t., 4. Alexander Porsev (RUS) s.t., 5. Tyler Farrar (USA) s.t., 6. Magnus Cort Nielsen (DEN) s.t., 7. Roger Kluge (GER) s.t., 8. Nicola Ruffoni (ITA) s.t., 9. Zakkari Dempster (AUS) s.t., 10. Mark Renshaw (AUS) s.t.

Overall standings

1. Adriano Malori (ITA) Movistar 3hr 36min 22sec, 2. Peter Sagan (SVK) same time, 3. Fabian Cancellara (SUI) at 01sec, 4. Greg van Avermaet (BEL) 2, 5. Matthias Brandle (AUT) s.t., 6. Maciej Bodnar (POL) s.t., 7. Daniel Oss (ITA) 4, 8. Ramunas Navardauskas (LTU) 5, 9. Steven Cummings (GBR) 6, 9. Peter Sagan (SVK) s.t., 10. Martijn Keizer (NED) 7

Read more on:    tirreno-adriatico  |  cycling

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