Volta a Catalunya: Marek Rutkiewicz’s active ride.

The winner of stage 2 of the Volta Catalunya race, was the cyclist of the Lampre ISD team, Alessandro Petacchi. After a field sprint he beat Jose Joaquín Rojas (Movistar) and Manuel Cardoso (RadioShack). Gatis Smukulis from HTC-Highroad is still the leader of the race.
The 2nd stage of the race, 169.3 kilometres long, led from Santa Coloma de Farners to Banyoles and along its route there were two climbs: Alt de la Ganga of category 3 and an uphill stretch of category 1 in Alt dels Angels. In the final stretch of the route the area was mainly flat, which indicated that sprint cyclists might fight for the stage win. The course of events during the second stage was really similar to the one on the first day. Right after the start, at the third kilometre of the route, four cyclists rode out of the peloton, and they were: Ruben Perez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Jose Benitez (Andalucia-Caja Granada), David de la Cruz (Caja Rural) and Marek Rutkiewicz (CCC Polsat Polkowice). At the 58th kilometre of the route, when the escapees started to negotiate the first uphill stretch of category 3, they had an advantage over the peloton reaching 6 minutes. From that moment the peloton accelerated a bit and at the second climb, of category 1, the advantage of the escaping foursome was only 3 minutes.
Eventually, thanks to the joint work of the team of Lampre and Movistar, that wanted badly to lead to a sprinters’ duel at the finishing line of the second stage, at 23 kilometres from the finishing line the break-away was eliminated. According to expectations the teams having sprint cyclists joined the fight for the win, and especially the team of Lampre, which successfully lead out Alessandro Petacchi, who became the winner of stage 2. At the finishing line in Banyoles he was quicker than Jose Joaquín Rojas (Movistar) and Manuel Cardoso from the team of RadioShack.

The position of the leader was retained by yesterday’s thriumpher, Gatis Smukulis (HTC-Highroad).

Very active riding during the second stage was shown by Marek Rutkiewicz, who successfully joined the fight for points at numerous intermediate sprints, holding the second place twice, right behind Rubén Pérez.

On Wednesday the most difficult stage of the race with the final uphill stretch to Andora-Vallnord (8.2 km; 6.5%).

The results of stage 2: Santa Coloma de Farners – Banyoles, 169.3 km

1. Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-ISD) 4:11:08
2. Jose Joaquín Rojas Gil (Movistar)
3. Manuel Cardoso (RadioShack)

28. Błażej Janiaczyk
43. José Mendes (Por)
130. Adrian Honkisz
136. Tomasz Marczyński
145. Łukasz Bodnar
152. Jacek Morajko
158. Marek Rutkiewicz
170. Mariusz Witecki 0:01:16