Despite cool temperatures and increasing precipitation, Cervélo rider Brett Lancaster found the energy to outsprint the lead group for a win in Stage Two of the 2010 Amgen Tour of California.
After a series of steep climbs and dangerous descents split up the peloton, only the strongest all-around riders were left to contest the win. A group of 27 riders set broke free near the crest of the final climb, and split further on the wet roads of the final descent.
None of the big sprinters could keep the pace. Yellow-jersey wearer Mark Cavendish, and Tom Boonen, who was injured in Stage One, tell off the back on the final climb, as did Fabian Cancellara, whose health had been shaky from the outset. Saxo Bank sprinter J.J. Haedo was one of many who crashed on the slick roads.
Radio Shack set the pace much of the day, and dominated the final breakaway group, with six riders including Lance Armstrong and three-time Tour of California winner Levi Leipheimer. Garmin-Transitions was also well-represented, with five riders.
In the final meters, it was Brett Lancaster who timed his break right. Lancaster had no teammates among the dozen or so riders who led the way. He waited behind Jens Voigt and Lars Boom to make his move, then surged across the line to take the stage win.
Peter Sagan of Liquigas finished second. Rabobank rider Lars Boom Rabobank took third, with Rory Southerland of the U.S.-based UnitedHealthcare team came in fourth.
Lancaster leads the Tour by four seconds over Sagan and Karl Menzies of UnitedHealthcare, who are tied.
Levi Leipheimer, hoping to win his fourth Tour, finished seventh, close enough in time to be a threat for the General Classification lead after tomorrow’s long, flat, twisty stage from San Francisco to Santa Cruz.