Dutchman Kai Reus won the second stage of this year's Tour of Britain from Darlington to Newcastle Gateshead on the break today and did so by enough of a margin to claim the overall lead in the General Classification too.
Reus was part of the day's pivotal break which contained yesterday's escaper, Topsport-Vlaanderen's Thomas De Gendt and AG2R's Tanel Kangert. The three got well clear of the chasing pack but with 35Km to go the pace proved too much for Kangert who was dropped by the other two. De Gendt had assiduously been hoovering up points in the sprint and the king of the mountain competitions so that when Reus made his move with 12Km to go, either by accident or design De Gendt did not respond, leaving Reus the relatively simple job of time trialling it to the finish.
His margin of victory was enough to give him the overall lead, relegating yesterday's stage winner Chris Sutton to second place. Edvald Boasson Hagen of Columbia-HTC moves up into fifth overall and finished third on the stage too, bested in the sprint for second place by his compatriot Alexander Kristoff (Joker-Bianchi).
Malcolm Elliot was the best placed of the domestic riders on the stage, finishing in 7th place in the same time as the chasing pack a result which also lifts him to 9th place on GC (he'd be first obviously if there were a vets category), while Russell Downing is currently the best-placed Brit on the GC in 6th place, 25 seconds down on Reus.
Top 20 Tour of Britain Stage 2
1) Kai Reus RAB Rabobank 03:38:32 2) Alexander Kristoff TMB Joker Bianchi 09 3) Edvald Boasson Hagen THR Team Columbia-HTC 4) Martin Reimer CTT Cervelo Test Team 5) Danilo Napolitano, KAT Team Katusha 6) Michel Merlo BAR Barloworld 7) Malcolm Elliott CTV Candi-TV-Marshalls Pasta 8) Pierpaolo De Negri ISD ISD-Neri 9) Chris Sutton GRM Garmin-Slipstream 10) Pieter Vanspeybrouck TSV Topsport Vlaanderen 11) Davide Appollonio CTT Cervelo Test Team 12) Russell Downing CTV Candi-TV-Marshalls Pasta 13) Ian Wilkinson HAF Team Halfords 14) Reinier Hong VAC Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team 15) Koldo Fernandez EUS Euskatel Euskadi 16) Graeme Brown RAB Rabobank 17) Kristian House RCR Rapha Condor 18) Federico Canuti CDF CSF Navigare 19) Alan Marangoni CDF CSF Navigare 20) Javier Aramendia EUS Euskatel Euskadi
Top 10 on General Classification after Stage 2
1) Kai Reus RAB Rabobank 07:46:14 2) Chris Sutton GRM Garmin-Slipstream 16 3) Alexander Kristoff TMB Joker Bianchi 19 4) Michel Merlo BAR Barloworld 7h46'34" 20 5) Edvald Boasson Hagen THR Team Columbia-HTC 21 6) Russell Downing CTV Candi-TV-Marshalls Pasta 25 7) Mastring Reimer CTT Cervelo Test Team 26 8) Pieter Vanspeybrouck TSV Topsport Vlaanderen 9) Malcolm Elliott CTV Candi-TV-Marshalls Pasta 10) Reiner Honig VAC Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.