Impressive fifth for Dunbar

15 Feb 2019

Impressive fifth for Dunbar

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Tour de La Provence Stage 2: Istres – La Ciotat, 191.6km

Eddie Dunbar put in an impressive performance to finish fifth as part of an elite lead group on stage two in Provence.
 
The Irishman looked comfortable and was able to follow the moves as the race was on the limit over the top of the Les Cretes climb. Battling it out in the sprint in La Ciotat, Dunbar was able to elevate himself up to seventh place overall after a day of hard work from the team.
 
Filippo Ganna began the day in the leader’s jersey and battled hard to limit his losses as the peloton split apart on the tough first-category ramp. Forced to concede the lead, the Italian finished alongside teammate Owain Doull, 1:27 back on the Dunbar group.
 
Eduard Prades (Movistar) edged out the win on the day, with third placed Gorka Izagirre (Astana) moving into the overall lead. Dunbar sits just 15 seconds off the top spot at the race’s halfway point.
 
Team Sky worked at the head of the race throughout the day, with Leonardo Basso, Chris Lawless, Ben Swift and Diego Rosa all putting in stints at the head of the peloton as they controlled the day’s eight-man break.
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Reaction

- Eddie Dunbar

“I thought we rode well all day as a unit. We didn’t get too much help out there from other teams until it kicked off towards the end. It was a good day out and the next few days should be interesting. We can take a back foot really and hopefully be the ones to make a difference at the end, rather than taking it on from the start.
 
“When I first went with Gaudu it was a tough effort, as the fight into the climb was actually harder than the climb itself. But after three or four minutes, once I got into the swing of things, I felt pretty good. It’s my first proper road race of the year and it was certainly a lung-opener. But it bodes well for the next few days.
 
“I think with the quality of riders that are here, and looking ahead to some of the races that are coming up, there will certainly be guys who are looking to race aggressively tomorrow. It’s pretty clear they are keen to race hard so I think we could see some shakeups on the GC, and certainly on Sunday.”
What’s Next?
 
The action centres around Paul Ricard on day three with a circuit featuring the French Formula 1 circuit. With the third category ramp of Le Brulat to negotiate there should be plenty to tempt the attackers ahead of a likely sprint finish.

Stage two result:

1. Eduard Prades (Movistar) 4:50:15
2. Tony Gallopin (Ag2r-La Mondiale) s.t.
3. Gorka Izagirre (Astana)
4. Simon Clarke (EF Education First)
5. Eddie Dunbar (Team Sky)

Overall standings:

1. Gorka Izagirre (Astana) 5:00:45
2. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) +2
3. Tony Gallopin (Ag2r-La Mondiale) +6"
4. Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ) +10"
5. Simon Clarke (EF Education First) +11"
7. Eddie Dunbar (Team Sky) +15"

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