The winner of the L'Alpe d'Huez stage in the 2013 Tour de France shows his climbing legs again, winning stage 2
Christophe Riblon (Ag2r La Mondiale) soloed to victory in stage 2 of the Tour of Poland on Sunday.
The 206.5km stage from Marilleva Val di Sole to Passo Pordoi Val di Fassa, the last of two in Italy before the race shifts venues to Poland, included a trio of category-1 climbs, including the finale at Passo Pordoi.
Riblon used that final ascent to attack out of the day’s break with 8km to go. Thomas Rohregger (RadioShack-Leopard) tried to follow but was soon a half minute back and losing ground. The peloton was more than two minutes down and had lost interest in the pursuit.
With 1km remaining it was clear that Riblon, winner of the L’Alpe d’Huez stage at this year’s Tour de France, would take the stage — the question was whether the 10-second bonus at the finish would give him the leader’s jersey as well.
Riblon did take the stage in 6:03:40. Rohregger followed for second at just over a minute down with Georg Preidler (Argos-Shimano) third at 1:18.
But the jersey went to Rafal Majka (Saxo-Tinkoff), who finished fifth on the day at 1:35. Sergio Henao (Sky), fourth on the stage, moved into second overall at four seconds down with Riblon third at six seconds.
Riblon said he hoped to use his form from the Tour to chase some WorldTour points for the team and perhaps aim for a strong overall finish.
“I’m third overall and there’s still a great week of racing ahead. The next stages are difficult but considering my good shape I’m pretty confident,” he said.
Monday brings a rest day. On Tuesday, the tour continues in Poland with a 226km stage from Krakow to Rzeszow.
• Bradley Wiggins (Sky) had another day to forget in the Polish tour. The 2012 Tour de France champion finished more than 15 minutes off the winning pace in stage 2 and now sits 49th overall, 23 minutes down.
Editor’s note: Stay tuned for more from the Tour of Poland.