Moscon up to second after Tahoe test

13 May 2019

Moscon up to second after Tahoe test

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Tour of California stage two: Rancho Cordova-South Lake Tahoe, 214.5km

Gianni Moscon battled to third place following a brutal uphill sprint finish on stage two of the Tour of California as Kasper Asgreen (Deuceuninck - Quick-Step) took victory on the undulating 214.5km test.

Moscon now moves up to second overall after narrowly being pipped to the line by Asgreen and Tejay van Gaarderen (EF Education First) who finished second to move into the overall race lead. 

Moscon was part of a 10-man break that worked hard in the closing kilometres to create a large gap between themselves and the peloton to ensure the winner of the stage would come from the select bunch.

The decisive move came from Van Garderen who attacked the escapees with one kilometre remaining of the race and only Moscon and Asgreen were able to respond, with the latter biding his time before launching his own attack on the final corner which the others could not respond to. 
Earlier, Luke Rowe was in a strong breakaway with Davide Ballerini (Astana) Pawel Bernas (CCC), Michael Hernandez (Aevolo), Evan Huffman (Rally UHC Cycling), Mads Pedersen (Trek Segafredo) and Michael Storer (Team Sunweb).

This seven-man outfit kept the peloton at bay until the last 75 kilometres, when ED Education First took to the front to catch them, with Lachlan Morton later attacking from the front on Kirkwood Summit.

He was reeled back in however, and cat-and-mouse tactics saw a split in the front group, with David de la Cruz shrewdly piking up three bonus seconds at the intermediate sprint before the reduced bunch came back together again in the final 10 kilometres.

Moscon was then able to place himself in a select group of 10 riders as the kilometres whittled down, which was then reduced to the final three which saw Asgreen prevail.
Luke Rowe in the early breakaway

Luke Rowe in the early breakaway

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- DS Oli Cookson

“The altitude was a key factor today, especially with the final 60 kilometres all being above 2,000m, which made it an incredibly challenging day for the guys. At the start we knew we had to be attentive, and while we didn’t really have to get into a move, Luke found himself in a move which was great in easing the pressure on the rest of the guys, although his group wasn’t really allowed to get a significant advantage.

“David de la Cruz was also in a strong move with some of the favourites which also helped, meaning Gianni as he could sit back and watch and coming into the final kilometres, Gianni rode really cleverly, got into the front part of the split bunch and they held off the chasing pack really well.

“Overall, today showed that Gianni is in a really good place, we’re in a good position on GC and it’s going to be a challenging, yet exciting week with plenty of opportunities for the race to be won.”

- Gianni Moscon

“My form has been ok, but this is a nice block of racing that will give me an extra boost for the upcoming races.

“I am in good shape, but not the best version of me - I decided to skip the Giro d’Italia and come here and do some good racing and training and hope to be in the frame for Tour de France selection."
Stage two result

1. Kasper Asgreen (Deuceuninck - Quick-Step) 6:17:11
2. Tejay Van Garderen (EF Education First) s.t.
3. Gianni Moscon (Team INEOS) +4"
4. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) +10"
5. Maximilian Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) +16"

Overall standings

1. Tejay Van Garderen (EF Education First) 9:31:19
2.Gianni Moscon (Team INEOS) +6"
3. Kasper Asgreen (Deuceuninck - Quick-Step) +7"
4. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) +16"
5. Maximilian Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) +22"
8. David de la Cruz (Team INEOS) +34"
What’s next? 

Another long day in the saddle beckons for the team with a stage distance of 208km and with just under 3000m of climbing, which could suit a breakaway. The hardest climb comes at 132km mark followed a couple of short steep hills afterwards which will decide whether a break will prevail or setup a reduced bunch sprint. 

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