Boswell third in San Jose thriller

15 May 2017

Boswell third in San Jose thriller

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Ian Boswell produced a superb ride to claim third place on a highly selective second stage at the Tour of California.

An exciting 144.5-kilometre test blew apart on the slopes of Mt Hamilton, with Boswell latching onto a counter-attack on a tough ascent.
 
The American went clear in a select lead group, which opened out their advantage to around one minute, with 40 kilometres still to race.
 
With the peloton behind equally as fractured, it was a quartet of riders who battled it out for victory on the tough uphill final kilometre.
 
Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) edged out George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo) in a tight sprint, with Boswell doing the same over Lachlan Morton (Dimension Data), seven seconds further back.
 
That all ensured Boswell elevated himself to third overall, 14 seconds back on new leader Majka.
 
With Boswell up the road, Tao Geoghegan Hart and David Lopez were able to sit in once they’d battled their way into the elite group behind. Geoghegan Hart crossed the stripe seventh, 37 seconds back on Majka, and 30 on his team-mate. Lopez slipped back on the steep final climb but still finished 18th, one minute down. 
 
Earlier, after a rapid start out of Modesto, Danny van Poppel rode his way into the break of six. The Dutchman played a strong team role, before slipping back with much of the peloton as the pace shot up on Mt Hamilton.

After the stage Boswell admitted he was happy to have been right there at the sharp end, only a matter of weeks after a hard crash at Tour of the Alps. He said: "It's just nice to get a result. I think it just goes to show, especially in this sport of cycling, things don't always go perfect. But just keep your eye on what you're working for, don't mentally take yourself out of it and just try to be positive. Everyone has ups and downs but just keep working hard.

"We knew from about 20km to go we could make it. We had a really cooperative group and we've all raced together quite a bit. I think it was the perfect combination of riders."

Sport Director Gabriel Rasch was also happy at how the day panned out. Taking us through the stage he explained to TeamSky.com: "When the break went it wasn't the big group we were hoping it would be. We said to the guys before Mt Hamilton that for sure LottoNL-Jumbo were going to ride and go full gas. That's what they did and from there it was just about holding on really. 

"When Bennett attacked Boz could follow which was perfect. We told him not to do more than the other guys and just kept him updated. He did a good job. It was good to have Tao and David behind in the second group. All in all it was a really good team effort. 

"Today everyone had a chance to show what shape they were in and be up there. Now we have Boz in a really good situation, and with Tao and David we have different tactics we can play."

Stage two result:
 
1. Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) 3:43:46
2. George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo) s.t.
3. Ian Boswell (Team Sky) +7”
4. Lachlan Morton (Dimension Data) s.t.
5. Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo) +37”
 
Overall standings:
 
1. Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) 7:29:14
2. George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo) +2”
3. Ian Boswell (Team Sky) +14”
4. Lachlan Morton (Dimension Data) +16”
5. Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo) +48”

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