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Romandie (2) : Backaert in the attack, Pasqualon places in top 10

Romandie (2) : Backaert in the attack, Pasqualon places in top 10

A six man breakaway was formed immediately after the start of the second stage of Tour de Romandie (2.WT) in Le Locle. Frederik Backaert joined five colleagues, Bagdonas, Arcas, Küng, Brown and Imhof, in the front of the race. Their maximum lead was five minutes. Finally only the local rider Küng was able to resist to the comeback of the peloton by leaving his five companions one by one behind, among whom Backaert, in the last climb. The peloton sprinted in Morges for a second place. Andrea Pasqualon finished 10th and Guillaume Martin 15th. Martin remains in 17th position in the provisional general classification to which our Swiss partner ATAR attaches a lot of importance.

Andrea Pasqualon :

« Despite the cold weather I had a good feeling all day. With Backaert in de front we could settle in the peloton. I managed to sprint to a top ten which is satisfying for a World Tour race. This rewards a good collective performance, because my shape is not optimal yet. »

« I will see what I can do tomorrow. The race profile is hard, but without long climbs. The hill finish suits me, so with good sensations maybe I can survive and sprint to a good result. In my opinion, only around 40 riders will be left to battle for the stage victory and I hope to be one of them. The breakaway could be dangerous, because I have no idea about which team is willing to control the stage. »

Frederik Backaert :

« I was suspecting the motivation of Küng to be in the breakaway, so I immediately reacted when he attacked. Finally we formed a group of six strong men in front of the race. I thought we would have a relaxed day in the breakaway, but the pace never slowed down. I started to believe when we passed the mountain top with an advantage of five minutes. »

« We continued riding full gas in the valley. Küng attacked on the last climb and we were only three left, with Bagdonas. He accelerated again and I finally had to let go with 400 meters of climbing to go. It is a pity, I was really close, but Küng was the strongest. If I was able to follow him, I could have stayed on his wheel. I am happy with my shape, even if the fatigue is building up after the classics. I will help the team as much as possible and then take some rest in order to be fresh for the Four Days of Dunkerque. » 

Stage 2 :
1. Stefan Küng
2. Sam Bennett + 0:59
3. Sonny Colbrelli
10. Andrea Pasqualon
15. Guillaume Martin
37. Thomas Degand
38. Odd Eiking
59. Aimé De Gendt
72. Xandro Meurisse
78. Frederik Backaert

Provisional general classification:
1. Primoz Roglic
2. Rui Costa + 0:10
3. David Gaudu + 0:12
17. Guillaume Martin + 0:26