USA Pro Challenge: Solo success for Mathias Frank on stage two
Mathias Frank times his late attack to perfection to win the second stage of the USA Pro Challenge
Last Updated: 20/08/13 11:45pm
The BMC rider joined forces with Lawson Craddock (Bontrager) to chase down Lachlan Morton (Garmin-Sharp) on the descent of the Hoosier Pass but then dropped his two rivals on the short, sharp Boreas Pass and pressed on alone to take his victory by a three-second margin.
Morton held on for second place on the day and that saw him move top of the general classification with a two-second advantage over the triumphant Frank. Peter Sagan had produced a dogged defence of his yellow jersey in the closing stages and the Cannondale rider's third-placed finish ensured he dropped just two places in the overall standings, 11 seconds down on Morton.
Joe Dombrowski was the first Team Sky rider over the line, 1min 02sec back in 29th position, and that saw him drop to 26th (+1:04) in the battle for overall honours.
The action had got off to a brutal start with the highest climb in professional cycling looming large almost as soon as the start flag had lowered. After a series of early attacks it was Michael Schar (BMC) who first crested Independence Pass ahead of Matt Cooke (Jamis-Hagens Berman) and Luis Lemus (Jell Belly).
That trio came together on the fast descent which followed and they were almost five minutes ahead as they swept into the valley below. It was around that time when Kanstantsin Siutsou (Team Sky) and David Millar (Garmin-Sharp) jumped from the bunch and the duo worked hard to bridge the gap over to the leaders before they passed the first intermediate sprint.
Cannondale led their pursuit in the peloton, and when they had been hauled back, a fresh 15-man move including Andy Schleck (RadioShack) ventured up the road.
Schleck had dropped back before they hit the Hoosier Pass, but by then Morton had made his first dig and was joined by Craddock and Frank with just 18km remaining. That proved the move that counted and despite Saxo-Tinkoff, UnitedHealthcare and Cannondale all trying to spoil the party, it was Frank and Morton who stayed ahead to sweep up the stage and overall honours.
Stage two result
1 Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing Team, 5:05:19
2 Lachlan David Morton (Aus) Garmin-Sharp, +3
3 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling, +14
4 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team, +21
5 Lawson Craddock (USA) Bontrager, st
6 Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp, +32
7 Darwin Atapuma (Col) Colombia, +33
8 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling, +44
9 Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team, st
10 George Bennett (NZl) RadioShack Leopard, st
General Classification after stage two
1 Lachlan David Morton (Aus) Garmin-Sharp, 7:31:22
2 Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing Team, +2
3 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling, +11
4 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team, st
5 Lawson Craddock (USA) Bontrager, +18
6 Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp, +29
7 Darwin Atapuma (Col) Colombia, +35
8 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling, +41
9 Christopher Baldwin (USA) UnitedHealthcare, st
10 Gregore Brenes Obando (Crc) Champion System, st