What's Cool In Road Cycling

2015 Critérium International Stage 2 : The Trek Boy Put the Pressure on King

Stage two of the Critérium International, a 7-kilometre individual time-trial, was claimed by Italian Fabio Felline. The Trek Factory Racing rider won in style ahead of his team-mate Bob Jungels and his compatriot Manuele Boaro. Winner of the event’s morning stage, Benjamin King keeps command of the overall leader’s yellow jersey but will be under the serious pressure of the Trek boys during the final stage tomorrow heading to the famous Col de l’Ospedale.

One had to wait until the closing moments of the day’s individual time-trial completed on a 7-kilometre course around Porto-Vecchio, to have a better idea of the hierarchy after stage 2. Eleventh of the morning stage, Fabio Felline (TFR) eventually proved to be the fastest of the 116 still in contention. The Italian who had already conquered the Circuit de Lorraine in 2010 and the Giro Dell’Appennino in 2012 captured a prestigious success, clocking a final time of 9’11.

At the end of the stage, the Torino born rider, a former U23 Italian national time-trial champion back in 2008, beats his team mate Bob Jungels by just a second and specialist Manuele Boaro (TCS), 2’’ adrift. Having seriously improved on such solo efforts, Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), third of the last Tour de France, claimed an impressive 4th position, only 6’’ away from the stage winner.

Winner of the morning stage and making the best of his 48’’ lead over the pack, Benjamin King (TCG) clocked a good 19th time (at 21’’) allowing him to keep the overall leader’s yellow jersey on his shoulders. The American will have a slim 24’’ advantage over Saint-Martin (M13) and 27 and 28’’ on threatening Felline and Jungels when he takes off for the final mountainous stage of the event, ending at the Col de l’Ospedale. Also within shooting distance, Pinot is only 32’’ adrift and well in contention for overall victory. King keeps command of the points and king of the mountain standings while Saint-Martin will be wearing the best young rider’s white jersey all along the 189.5kms of the ultimate stage.

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