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McEwen wins stage 2 at Romandie; Albasini leads

Robbie McEwen (Silence-Lotto) sprang from a mad dash to the line to win stage 2 of the Tour de Romandie on Thursday. The Aussie speedster free-lanced his way to the front in a chaotic bunch sprint and shot off Milram rider Björn Schröder’s wheel to claim his first victory of 2008 ahead of Daniele Bennati (Lampre) and Matti Breschel (CSC). Michael Albasini (Liquigas) retained the overall lead.

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Robbie the Rocket strikes a familiar pose

Robbie the Rocket strikes a familiar pose

Photo: Graham Watson

Robbie McEwen (Silence-Lotto) sprang from a mad dash to the line to win stage 2 of the Tour de Romandie on Thursday.

The Aussie speedster free-lanced his way to the front in a chaotic bunch sprint and shot off Milram rider Björn Schröder’s wheel to claim his first victory of 2008 ahead of Daniele Bennati (Lampre) and Matti Breschel (CSC).

Michael Albasini (Liquigas) retained the overall lead.

“Today I was able to win alone in the sprint, but I used my teammates to chase all day,” McEwen said. “After that it was just search for a good wheel and the right opportunity. This morning I said to myself, ‘I am going to win today,’ and it turned out.”

The 172.1km leg from Moutier to Fribourg included three rated climbs: the category 1 Pierre Petuis at 18.8km; the cat. 3 Treyvaux at 122.1km; and the cobbled cat. 3 Chemin de Lorette at 138.2km.

Riding was a much more pleasant experience on Thursday.

Riding was a much more pleasant experience on Thursday.

Photo: Graham Watson

The weather was much imporved over Wednesday and the action began early as Remy Di Gregorio (Française des Jeux), Jose Luis Arrieta (Ag2r) and Ian McKissick (BMC) took off at 4km. The peloton was immediately not interested in chasing, and by 35km the trio had a lead of 6:35.

The 22-year-old Di Gregorio, winner of a stage during the 2006 Tour de l’Avenir, led the former mountain biker McKissick and Arrieta over the first category-1 ascent, and at 61km into the day’s labors, the trio had a lead of more than nine and a half minutes.

McKissick (BMC) Di Gregorio (Française des Jeux) and Arrieta (Ag2r) made up the day’s early break.

Photo: Graham Watson

Arrieta took the sprint points at Cudrefin (69.8km) ahead of McKissick and Di Gregorio. The peloton was creeping closer, to 9:07, led by Liquigas, High Road and Silence-Lotto. By the feed zone, the gap was down to 8:27.

With 50km to race, Arrieta, De Gregorio and McKissick still had a lead of more than 5:15. But that gap began shrinking quickly — as Di Gregorio led McKissick and Arrieta over the Treyvaux, the peloton had trimmed their margin to 4:40.

McKissick took the second sprint at 133.3 km ahead Arrieta and Di Gregorio. Behind, the peloton was at 3:40 and closing, with High Road and Silence-Lotto leading the chase for Mark Cavendish and McEwen.

Arrieta was shelled on the cobbled climb of the Lorette, with its ramps as steep as 18 percent. As the pack summited 2:23 later, Italian Francesco De Bonis (Gerolsteiner) took a solo flyer 30km from the line.

High Road turns on the gas

High Road turns on the gas

Photo: Graham Watson

Di Gregorio and McKissick forged ahead, more than a minute up on Arrieta, with De Bonis in no-man’s land at 2:11 and the bunch at 2:52. But McKissick couldn’t hold the pace and fell back, leaving Di Gregorio on his own with 25km to go.

With 18km to race De Bonis was reabsorbed. Three kilometers later Di Gregorio held a shrinking lead of 1:33 over McKissick and 1:56 on the bunch.

With 13km to do McKissick was finally retrieved, leaving Di Gregorio the sole survivor of the day’s break, clinging to a lead of just 1:20 as Bradley Wiggins led the chase for High Road.

With 10km to go the gap was under a minute and Di Gregorio was clearly baked as the little climbs nibbled away at his legs. Behind, Liquigas was charging for Bennati.

Two kilometers later the bunch had Di Gregorio in its sights — and then Alexandre Moos (BMC) put in a huge effort, taking a slight and short-lived lead over the chase with 7km to race.

The peloton was strung out in one long line, racing along the winding descent and past the road furniture back into Fribourg. Caisse d’Epargne’s Garcia Acosta shot out of the bunch briefly, but found himself with company — Gerolsteiner’s Markus Fothen — and decided to drop back.

With 2km to race Fothen was powering along, hoping to steal a march on the sprinters — but it was nothing doing, as the chase gobbled him up within sight of the kite marking 1km to go.

Inside the final kilometer it was utter chaos — none of the sprinters’ teams were able to crank up their trains. That left the door open for the ultimate free-lancer, McEwen, who worked his way to the front and took the stage ahead of Bennati and Breschel.

“It’s great to get my first win of the season,” McEwen said. “It’s also good for the morale.”

Photo Gallery

Results

Tour de Romandie
Stage 2

1. Robbie McEwen (Aus), Silence-Lotto, 172.1km in 4:16:16

2. Daniele Bennati (I), Liquigas, same time

3. Matti Breschel (Den), CSC, s.t.

4. Markus Zberg (Swi), Gerolsteiner, s.t.

5. Alexandre Botscharov (Rus), Crédit Agricole, s.t.

6. Josep Jufre Pou (Sp), Saunier Duval-Scott, s.t.

7. Heinrich Haussler (G), Gerolsteiner, s.t.

8. Daniele Righi (I), Lampre-Fondital, s.t.

9. Björn Schröder (G), Team Milram, s.t.

10. Rubén Pérez Moreno (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, s.t.

11. Danilo Wyss (Swi), BMC Racing Team, s.t.

12. Maxim Iglinsky (Kaz), Astana, s.t.

13. Inaki Isasi Flores (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, s.t.

14. Bauke Mollema (Ned), Rabobank, s.t.

15. Mauro Santambrogio (I), Lampre-Fondital, s.t.

16. Dmitriy Muravyev (Kaz), Astana, s.t.

17. Rene Mandri (Est), Ag2r-La Mondiale, s.t.

18. Martin Elmiger (Swi), Ag2r-La Mondiale, s.t.

19. Alexandre Moos (Swi), BMC Racing Team, s.t.

20. Matej Jurco (Slo), Team Milram, s.t.

21. Alexandr Pliuschin (Mol), Ag2r-La Mondiale, s.t.

22. Martin Kohler (Swi), BMC Racing Team, s.t.

23. Rubens Bertogliati (Swi), Saunier Duval-Scott, s.t.

24. Michael Albasini (Swi), Liquigas, s.t.

25. Eros Capecchi (I), Saunier Duval-Scott, s.t.

26. Laurent Mangel (F), Ag2r-La Mondiale, s.t.

27. Rigoberto Uran (Col), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.

28. Javier Vila Errandonea Patxi (Sp), Lampre-Fondital, s.t.

29. Jérome Coppel (F), Française Des Jeux, s.t.

30. Mickäel Cherel (F), Française Des Jeux, s.t.

31. Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr), Ag2r-La Mondiale, s.t.

32. Oliver Zaugg (Swi), Gerolsteiner, s.t.

33. Stef Clément (Ned), Bouygues Telecom, s.t.

34. Xabier Zandio Echaide (Sp), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.

35. Hubert Schwab (Swi), Quick Step, s.t.

36. Steve Zampieri (Swi), Cofidis, s.t.

37. Steve Morabito (Swi), Astana, s.t.

38. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas, s.t.

39. Juan Manuel Garate (Sp), Quick Step, s.t.

40. Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, s.t.

41. Haimar Zubeldia (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, s.t.

42. Morris Possoni (I), High Road, s.t.

43. Chris Anker Sörensen (Den), CSC, s.t.

44. Bernhard Kohl (A), Gerolsteiner, s.t.

44. Thomas Dekker (Ned), Rabobank, s.t.

46. Fabio Baldato (I), Lampre-Fondital, s.t.

47. Francesco De Bonis (I), Gerolsteiner, s.t.

48. Ruben Lobato Elvira (Sp), Saunier Duval-Scott, s.t.

49. Rémy Di Gregorio (F), Française Des Jeux, s.t.

50. Paolo Tiralongo (I), Lampre-Fondital, s.t.

51. Matteo Bono (I), Lampre-Fondital, s.t.

52. Manuel Beltran Martinez (Sp), Liquigas, s.t.

53. Nick Gates (Aus), Silence-Lotto, s.t.

54. Vincent Jérôme (F), Bouygues Telecom, s.t.

55. Alexander Efimkin (Rus), Quick Step, s.t.

56. Vladimir Gusev (Rus), Astana, s.t.

57. Scott Davis (Aus), High Road, s.t.

58. Sylwester Szmyd (Pol), Lampre-Fondital, s.t.

59. Ludovic Turpin (F), Ag2r-La Mondiale, s.t.

60. Sandy Casar (F), Française Des Jeux, s.t.

61. Denis Menchov (Rus), Rabobank, s.t.

62. Jorge Azanza Soto (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, s.t.

63. Mario Aerts (B), Silence-Lotto, s.t.

64. Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu), Crédit Agricole, s.t.

65. Volodymir Gustov (Ukr), CSC, s.t.

66. David Loosli (Swi), Lampre-Fondital, s.t.

67. Wim Vanhuffel (B), Silence-Lotto, s.t.

68. Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz), Crédit Agricole, s.t.

69. Claudio Corioni (I), Liquigas, s.t.

70. Jussi Veikkanen (Fin), Française Des Jeux, s.t.

71. Steve Bovay (Swi), BMC Racing Team, s.t.

72. Jens Voigt (G), CSC, s.t.

73. Peter Velits (Slo), Team Milram, s.t.

74. Julien El Fares (F), Cofidis, s.t.

75. Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus), CSC, s.t.

76. Markus Fothen (G), Gerolsteiner, s.t.

77. Marco Pinotti (I), High Road, s.t.

78. Manuele Mori (I), Saunier Duval-Scott, s.t.

79. Oscar Pereiro Sio (Sp), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.

80. Francis Mourey (F), Française Des Jeux, s.t.

81. Patrice Halgand (F), Crédit Agricole, s.t.

82. Gustav Larsson (Swe), CSC, s.t.

83. John Gadret (F), Ag2r-La Mondiale, s.t.

84. Yannick Talabardon (F), Crédit Agricole, s.t.

85. Andreas Klöden (G), Astana, s.t.

86. José Angel Gomez Marchante (Sp), Saunier Duval-Scott, s.t.

87. Fernandez Moreno Daniel (Sp), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.

88. Rein Taaramae (Est), Cofidis, s.t.

89. Kevin Seeldrayers (B), Quick Step, s.t.

90. Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun), Crédit Agricole, s.t.

91. Serguei Yakovlev (Kaz), Astana, s.t.

92. Mathieu Perget (F), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.

93. Jean Eude Demaret (F), Cofidis, s.t.

94. Giovanni Bernaudeau (F), Bouygues Telecom, s.t.

95. Jérémy Roy (F), Française Des Jeux, s.t.

96. Kasper Klostergaard (Den), CSC, s.t.

97. José Vicente Garcia Acosta (Sp), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.

98. Sergio Ghisalberti (I), Team Milram, s.t.

99. David Moncoutié (F), Cofidis, s.t.

100. Nick Nuyens (B), Cofidis, s.t.

101. Johann Tschopp (Swi), Bouygues Telecom, s.t.

102. Sebastian Schwager (G), Team Milram, s.t.

103. Laurens Ten Dam (Ned), Rabobank, s.t.

104. Jeffry Louder (Swi), BMC Racing Team, s.t.

105. Christophe Kern (F), Crédit Agricole, s.t.

106. Mathias Frank (Swi), Gerolsteiner, at 0:13

107. Eric Berthou (Hun), Crédit Agricole, at 0:13

108. Addy Engels (Ned), Quick Step, at 0:23

109. Leonardo Scarselli (I), Quick Step, at 0:23

110. Thomas Frei (Swi), Astana, at 0:36

111. David Lopez Garcia (Sp), Caisse d’Epargne, at 0:36

112. Evgeny Sokolov (Rus), Bouygues Telecom, at 0:36

113. Antonio Fischer Murilo (Bra), Liquigas, at 1:33

114. Amets Txurruka (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 2:22

115. Ian McKissick (USA), BMC Racing Team, at 4:41

116. Maryan Hary (F), Cofidis, at 5:19

117. Bradley Wiggins (GB), High Road, at 5:19

118. Tony Martin (G), High Road, at 7:37

119. Frantisek Rabon (Cze) High Road, at 9:46

120. Adam Hansen (Aus), High Road, at 9:46

121. Mark Cavendish (GB), High Road, at 9:46

122. Mathieu Claude (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 9:46

123. Olivier Bonnaire (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 9:46

124. Julien Mazet (F), Astana, at 9:46

125. Jurgen Van Goolen (B), CSC, at 9:46

126. Matej Mugerli (Slo), Liquigas, at 9:46

127. Ivan Santaromita (I), Liquigas, at 9:46

128. Nicolas Crosbie (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 9:46

129. Timothy Gudsell (NZ), Française Des Jeux, at 10:26

130. Luca Barla (I), Team Milram, at 10:26

131. Nathan Miller (USA), BMC Racing Team, at 10:26

132. Bram De Groot (Ned), Rabobank, at 10:26

133. Tom Leezer (Ned), Rabobank, at 10:26

134. Rick Flens (Ned), Rabobank, at 10:26

135. Wouter Weylandt (B), Quick Step, at 10:26

136. Dominique Cornu (B), Silence-Lotto, at 10:26

137. José Luis Arrieta Lujambio (Sp), Ag2r-La Mondiale, at 10:26

138. André Luciano Pagliarini (Bra), Saunier Duval-Scott, at 11:43

139. Alberto Fernandez Ramos (Sp), Saunier Duval-Scott, at 11:43

140. Dries Devenyns (B), Silence-Lotto, at 11:43

141. Brent Bookwalter (USA), BMC Racing Team, at 13:19

142. Carlo Westphal (G), Gerolsteiner, at 13:19

Overall (after 2 stages)

1. Michael Albasini (Swi), Liquigas, 9:05:46

2. Maxim Iglinsky (Kaz), Astana, at 0:01

3. Markus Zberg (Swi), Gerolsteiner, at 0:08

4. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas, at 0:08

5. Thomas Dekker (Ned), Rabobank, at 0:09

6. Oscar Pereiro Sio (Sp), Caisse d’Epargne, at 0:10

7. Jussi Veikkanen (Fin), Française Des Jeux, at 0:10

8. Andreas Klöden (G), Astana, at 0:10

9. Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 0:11

10. Steve Morabito (Swi), Astana, at 0:11

11. Rubens Bertogliati (Swi), Saunier Duval-Scott, at 0:11

12. Vladimir Gusev (Rus), Astana, at 0:11

13. Morris Possoni (I), High Road, at 0:11

14. Haimar Zubeldia (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 0:12

15. Juan Manuel Garate (Sp), Quick Step, at 0:12

16. Javier Vila Errandonea Patxi (Sp), Lampre-Fondital, at 0:12

17. Sandy Casar (F), Française Des Jeux, at 0:12

18. Rein Taaramae (Est), Cofidis, at 0:13

19. Jens Voigt (G), CSC, at 0:13

20. Bauke Mollema (Ned), Rabobank, at 0:13

21. Alexander Efimkin (Rus), Quick Step, at 0:13

22. Eros Capecchi (I), Saunier Duval-Scott, at 0:14

23. Marco Pinotti (I), High Road, at 0:14

24. Mauro Santambrogio (I), Lampre-Fondital, at 0:15

25. Manuel Beltran Martinez (Sp), Liquigas, at 0:16

26. Alexandre Botscharov (Rus), Crédit Agricole, at 0:16

27. Sylwester Szmyd (Pol), Lampre-Fondital, at 0:16

28. Denis Menchov (Rus), Rabobank, at 0:16

29. José Angel Gomez Marchante (Sp), Saunier Duval-Scott, at 0:17

30. Johann Tschopp (Swi), Bouygues Telecom, at 0:17

31. Wim Vanhuffel (B), Silence-Lotto, at 0:18

32. John Gadret (F), Ag2r-La Mondiale, at 0:19

33. Oliver Zaugg (Swi), Gerolsteiner, at 0:20

34. Bernhard Kohl (A), Gerolsteiner, at 0:21

35. Ruben Lobato Elvira (Sp), Saunier Duval-Scott, at 0:21

36. Mario Aerts (B), Silence-Lotto, at 0:23

37. Mathias Frank (Swi), Gerolsteiner, at 0:30

38. Thomas Frei (Swi), Astana, at 0:47

39. Daniele Bennati (I), Liquigas, at 1:17

40. Björn Schröder (G), Team Milram, at 1:24

41. Martin Elmiger (Swi), Ag2r-La Mondiale, at 1:25

42. Jean Eude Demaret (F), Cofidis, at 1:26

43. Gustav Larsson (Swe), CSC, at 1:26

44. Hubert Schwab (Swi), Quick Step, at 1:26

45. Markus Fothen (G), Gerolsteiner, at 1:26

46. Stef Clément (Ned), Bouygues Telecom, at 1:26

47. Jérome Coppel (F), Française Des Jeux, at 1:27

48. Peter Velits (Slo), Team Milram, at 1:28

49. Rubén Pérez Moreno (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 1:29

50. Dmitriy Muravyev (Kaz), Astana, at 1:29

51. Francesco De Bonis (I), Gerolsteiner, at 1:29

52. Rémy Di Gregorio (F), Française Des Jeux, at 1:29

53. Fernandez Moreno Daniel (Sp), Caisse d’Epargne, at 1:29

54. Serguei Yakovlev (Kaz), Astana, at 1:31

55. Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz), Crédit Agricole, at 1:31

56. Xabier Zandio Echaide (Sp), Caisse d’Epargne, at 1:31

57. David Moncoutié (F), Cofidis, at 1:31

58. Rigoberto Uran (Col), Caisse d’Epargne, at 1:31

59. Francis Mourey (F), Française Des Jeux, at 1:32

60. Volodymir Gustov (Ukr), CSC, at 1:32

61. Nick Gates (Aus), Silence-Lotto, at 1:32

62. Josep Jufre Pou (Sp), Saunier Duval-Scott, at 1:33

63. Rene Mandri (Est), Ag2r-La Mondiale, at 1:33

64. Daniele Righi (I), Lampre-Fondital, at 1:34

65. Heinrich Haussler (G), Gerolsteiner, at 1:34

66. Patrice Halgand (F), Crédit Agricole, at 1:34

67. Laurens Ten Dam (Ned), Rabobank, at 1:34

68. Ludovic Turpin (F), Ag2r-La Mondiale, at 1:35

69. Mickäel Cherel (F), Française Des Jeux, at 1:35

70. Kevin Seeldrayers (B), Quick Step, at 1:36

71. Jorge Azanza Soto (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 1:36

72. Chris Anker Sörensen (Den), CSC, at 1:36

73. Alexandre Moos (Swi), BMC Racing Team, at 2:15

74. Amets Txurruka (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 4:32

75. Steve Zampieri (Swi), Cofidis, at 4:41

76. Matti Breschel (Den), CSC, at 8:24

77. Martin Kohler (Swi), BMC Racing Team, at 8:26

78. Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun), Crédit Agricole, at 8:27

79. Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu), Crédit Agricole, at 8:28

80. Jeffry Louder (Swi), BMC Racing Team, at 8:29

81. Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus), CSC, at 8:29

82. Vincent Jérôme (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 8:30

83. José Vicente Garcia Acosta (Sp), Caisse d’Epargne, at 8:30

84. Laurent Mangel (F), Ag2r-La Mondiale, at 8:31

85. Inaki Isasi Flores (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 8:31

86. David Loosli (Swi), Lampre-Fondital, at 8:32

87. Matej Jurco (Slo), Team Milram, at 8:32

88. Steve Bovay (Swi), BMC Racing Team, at 8:32

89. Christophe Kern (F), Crédit Agricole, at 8:32

90. Julien El Fares (F), Cofidis, at 8:33

91. Scott Davis (Aus), High Road, at 8:34

92. Matteo Bono (I), Lampre-Fondital, at 8:34

93. Yannick Talabardon (F), Crédit Agricole, at 8:34

94. Eric Berthou (Hun), Crédit Agricole, at 8:44

95. Addy Engels (Ned), Quick Step, at 8:56

96. Leonardo Scarselli (I), Quick Step, at 8:58

97. Evgeny Sokolov (Rus), Bouygues Telecom, at 9:08

98. Adam Hansen (Aus), High Road, at 11:12

99. Ivan Santaromita (I), Liquigas, at 11:18

100. Alberto Fernandez Ramos (Sp), Saunier Duval-Scott, at 12:31

101. Robbie McEwen (Aus), Silence-Lotto, at 13:10

102. Dries Devenyns (B), Silence-Lotto, at 13:11

103. Nick Nuyens (B), Cofidis, 13:17

104. Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr), Ag2r-La Mondiale, at 13:19

105. Alexandr Pliuschin (Mol), Ag2r-La Mondiale, at 13:19

106. Fabio Baldato (I), Lampre-Fondital, at 13:20

107. Claudio Corioni (I), Liquigas, at 13:23

108. Giovanni Bernaudeau (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 13:24

109. Sergio Ghisalberti (I), Team Milram, at 13:25

110. Mathieu Perget (F), Caisse d’Epargne, at 13:25

111. Manuele Mori (I), Saunier Duval-Scott, at 13:25

112. Jérémy Roy (F), Française Des Jeux, at 13:26

113. Paolo Tiralongo (I), Lampre-Fondital, at 13:26

114. Kasper Klostergaard (Den), CSC, at 13:26

115. Sebastian Schwager (G), Team Milram, at 13:28

116. David Lopez Garcia (Sp), Caisse d’Epargne, at 14:00

117. Antonio Fischer Murilo (Bra), Liquigas, at 14:51

118. Ian McKissick (USA), BMC Racing Team, at 17:56

119. Frantisek Rabon (Cze) High Road, at 18:14

120. Julien Mazet (F), Astana, at 18:20

121. José Luis Arrieta Lujambio (Sp), Ag2r-La Mondiale, at 19:13

122. Danilo Wyss (Swi), BMC Racing Team, at 20:50

123. Bradley Wiggins (GB), High Road, at 21:51

124. Mark Cavendish (GB), High Road, at 23:01

125. Matej Mugerli (Slo), Liquigas, at 23:04

126. Mathieu Claude (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 23:08

127. Nicolas Crosbie (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 23:09

128. Olivier Bonnaire (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 23:11

129. Jurgen Van Goolen (B), CSC, at 23:11

130. Dominique Cornu (B), Silence-Lotto, at 23:45

131. Bram De Groot (Ned), Rabobank, at 23:47

132. Luca Barla (I), Team Milram, at 23:47

133. Timothy Gudsell (NZ), Française Des Jeux, at 23:48

134. Tony Martin (G), High Road, at 24:12

135. Luciano André Pagliarini (Bra), Saunier Duval-Scott, at 25:08

136. Maryan Hary (F), Cofidis, 26:07

137. Brent Bookwalter (USA), BMC Racing Team, at 26:39

138. Rick Flens (Ned), Rabobank, at 27:01

139. Wouter Weylandt (B), Quick Step, at 27:04

140. Tom Leezer (Ned), Rabobank, at 27:05

141. Carlo Westphal (G), Gerolsteiner, at 34:26

142. Nathan Miller (USA), BMC Racing Team, 42:03