Tom Skujins won arguably the hardest stage of Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali.
Info: March 24th, Riccione – Sogliano sul Rubicone, 130km
Course: undulating, tough second part of the course on hilly circuit
After winning the team time trial, CCC Sprandi Polkowice approached stage 2 with 3rd and 4th place for Jan Tratnik and Adrian Kurek in GC and realistic chances of taking over the race lead.
The breakaway of the day was established quite early, few minutes after the start. It consisted of 7 riders Massimo Rosa (Italia), Julen Amezqueta (Wilier- Selle Italia), Giacomo Berlato (Nippo- Fantini), Jon Irizari (Caja Rural – RGA), Brice Feillu (Fortuneo-Vital Concept), Michele Scartezzini (MGKvis – Olmo), Didier Santosque (Strongman).
The peloton, which was often led by CCC Sprandi Polkowice, didn’t let them ride away too far, making sure that the gap never exceeds 3 minutes.
On the hilly lap around Sogliano sul Rubicone Feillu decided not to wait for his fellow escapees and went away solo. His journey in the front ended with 32km to go, when he got caught by the bunch. David Lopez (Team Sky) and Mattia Cattaneo (Androni Sidermec) didn’t want to waste any time and attacked right away. Their brave attempt wasn’t successful either, as they got reeled in on the last climb.
The final ascent saw the race explode. This is where the decisive group of 9 emerged and in the very finale Tom Skujins (Cannondale Drapac) launched a winning move. He crossed the line 7 seconds ahead of the chasers, securing the overall lead. Arnold Jeannesson (Fortuneo Vital Concept) took 2nd and Matteo Busato 3rd (Wilier – Selle Italia). Jan Tratnik finished 9 minutes behind the winner, dropping to 52nd in the GC.