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Zabel wins second stage to take Tour of Germany lead

Telekom's sprint ace Erik Zabel won a field sprint to take the second stage of the Tour of Germany, on May 30. Today's 173km stage ran between Goslar and Erfurt. The German gained revenge on Belgian rider Tom Steels -- who beat him to the line on Tuesday -- to record his 12th win of the season and take the overall race lead. Zabel, the current World Cup leader, stopped the clock after 4:21:06 of racing, to come in ahead of Moldova's Igor Pugaci (Saeco) with Russian Guennadi Michailov (Lotto) in third position. The race centered around the early solo break of Swiss rider Roger Beuchat

By VeloNews Interactive Wire ServicesCopyright AFP 2001

Telekom’s sprint ace Erik Zabel won a field sprint to take the second stage of the Tour of Germany, on May 30. Today’s 173km stage ran between Goslar and Erfurt. The German gained revenge on Belgian rider Tom Steels — who beat him to the line on Tuesday — to record his 12th win of the season and take the overall race lead.

Zabel, the current World Cup leader, stopped the clock after 4:21:06 of racing, to come in ahead of Moldova’s Igor Pugaci (Saeco) with Russian Guennadi Michailov (Lotto) in third position.

The race centered around the early solo break of Swiss rider Roger Beuchat (Phonak) who built up a 10:35 lead over the peloton, 71km from the line. He moved clear after the last difficult climb of the day, but was caught 18km later.

“This win is a huge relief for me naturally. The home crowd expect a lot from us even if this has nothing on the pressure of the Tour de France,” said Zabel, five time holder of the Tour de France sprinter’s green jersey.

Zabel’s teammate and compatriot Andreas Kloden crashed in the final 800 meters, along with Alex Zulle, but both got back on their bikes to finish the race.

Thursday’s third stage runs along the valleys between Erfurt and Bad Neustadt and is expected to favor the 30-year-old Zabel, who now has a 10-second lead in the overall standings on Dutch rider Rudi Kemna.

Copyright AFP 2001

Results

TOUR OF GERMANY

Stage 2, May 30.

1. Erik Zabel (Ger) Telekom, 173km in 4:21:06; 2. Igor Pugaci (Mol); 3. Guennady Michailov (Rus); 4. Sven Teutenberg (Ger); 5. Robbie McEwen (Aus); 6. Peter Wrolich (Aut); 7. Jens Zemke (Ger); 8. Saulius Ruskys (Lit); 9. Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor); 10. Paolo Bettini (Ita), all s.t.

OVERALL

1. Zabel 9:25:33; 2. Rudi Kemna (Nl) at 0:10; 3. Igor Pugaci
(Mol), s.t.; 4. Michailov, at 0:12; 5. Teutenberg, at 0:13; 6. Aart Vierhouten (Ned), at 0:14; , 7. McEwen; at 0:16; 8. Arvesen; 9. Werner Riebenbauer (Aut); 10. Zemke, all s.t.;