As expected sprinters ruled at the Tour of PA stage 2, a mostly flat 91-mile (146.4 km) run from Downingtown to Carlisle, which took riders through the heart of Amish country.
Outsprinting the other 19 riders from a breakaway, Canadian Keven Lacombe (Kelly Benefit/Medifast) won the second stage, ahead of the South African speedster Christoff Van Heerden (Konica Minolta) and American Ryan Baumann (Sakonnet Technology).
“It is so nice to race here, the roads have been beautiful and the stages are great,” said an elated Lacombe during the podium presentation held at the finish line in Carlisle. “It is just such a great opportunity for us to be here racing, and we expect to do well in the end of the week.”
No changes in the overall classification as yellow jersey Belgian Steven Van Vooren (Johan Brunyeel Cycling Academy) was also in the breakaway and kept his small lead of 3 seconds ahead of Lacombe and 4 seconds in front of Van Heerden.
“I didn’t anticipate getting results here, but I knew I was capable of doing good things in the opening time trial,” said the overall race leader Van Vooren who has maintained a three-second lead during the first three stages. “It was a question of doing well in the prologue, and that was really the start of my ambition.
The 102 riders stayed together until about 60 miles (96 km) into the race when Ryan Baumann (Sakonnet Technology) made a move and was quickly followed by other riders to form a break of 17 riders. Joining Baumann and Van Heerden in the break were ZTeam pair Shawn Rosenthal and Stefano Barberi, Time Pro’s duo of Nick Frey and Erik Barlevav, Global Cycling pair Dennis Luyt and Geert Dijkshoorn and Peter Salon and Peter Stetina, both from VMG/Felt. Also in the break were Alex Boyd (Waste Management/Racelab), Gaston Aguero (Esco-Telefonicos Argentina), Adrian Gerrits (VRC: NOW-MS Society), Charles Marzot (Fiordifrutta), Joel Dion-Poitras (Team Race), Max Jenkins (Cal Giant), and Aaron Pool (Johan Bruyneel Cycling Academy).
After a few miles and with no team representation in such a large and powerful break, Kelly Benefit/Medifast sent two riders across: Lacombe and David Veilleux. Van Vooren jumped on their wheel and the trio joined the break to make it to the finish line, one minute and 6 seconds ahead of the field.
Stage winner Lacombe accumulated enough points to take the lead in the Best Sprinter competition by winning the intermediate sprint competition in Ephrata in combination with the extra points at the finish line.
“I was really keen on getting this jersey today, especially to represent our sponsors,” said Furmston who hopes to be able to defend the red and white jersey as the peloton begins its journey through the Allegheny Mountains.
Salon (VMG/Felt) takes over the Best Young Rider jersey. What’s a best young rider in a U25 race? A rider under 21 years of age.
The 104-mile (168 km) Stage 3 is when the climbers and GC contenders come into play. The longest stage of the Tour includes two climbs, the first KOM officially begins at mile 63, sending riders on a 3.5-mile climb to the top of Tuscarora Summit. The final KOM is at mile 82 at Sideling Hill – this climb is about 3 miles long with an elevation gain of 2,500 feet. After the KOM, the riders will descend at speeds of 50 mph, negotiating some very technical turns, plummeting down to the finish line in the town of Bedford. The predicted hot and muggy weather will only add to the difficulties.
Keven Lacombe Interview by Amy Smolens on CanadianCyclist.com
Stage 2 photos: here
Eric Chabrot (PA Lightning) blog
Full Results on TourOfPA.com