Sacha Modolo Takes Stage Two At 3 Days of De Panne


KOKSIJDE, Belgium, April 02, 2014 (AFP) – Italian Sacha Modolo won a sprint
finish on the second stage of the Three Days of De Panne race Wednesday as
Belgian Gert Steegmans took over the leader’s jersey.

Lampre’s Modolo, 26, triumphed in a race to the line ahead of some
distinguished company as Frenchman Arnaud Demare, second at last week’s
Gent-Wevelgem, was bridesmaid again with Milan-San Remo winner Alexander
Kristoff third.

One rider who didn’t see the end of the 206km stage from Zotegem to
Koksijde was Slovakia’s Peter Sagan, the “accidental” winner of Tuesday’s
opening stage.

Starting the day in the leader’s jersey he pulled out early on to save
himself for Sunday’s Tour of Flanders, where he will be amongst the favourites
alongside Swiss Fabian Cancellara and Tom Boonen of Belgium.

Steegmans earnt some bonus seconds on an intermediate sprint which was
enough to give him a one second overall lead ahead of Italian Oscar Gatto, who
was second to Cannondale team-mate Sagan on Tuesday, when the Slovak, acting
as lead-out man in the sprint, failed to sit up in time to allow Gatto to pass
him before the line.

The day’s main breakaway consisted of 32 riders but were caught around 20km
from home.

Three more riders — Dutchman Niki Terpstra, Belgian Guillaume Van
Keirsbulck and Gatto — took the opportunity to launch a counter-attack but
they too were caught 3km out.

Thursday’s final day includes two stages: a straight 109.7km run to De
Panne followed by a 14.3km time-trial.

Results and standings following
Wednesday’s 206km second stage of the Three Days of De Panne stage race from
Zotegem to Koksijde.

1. Sacha Modolo (ITA/Lampre), 4hr 28min 15sec, 2. Arnaud Demare (FRA/FDJ)
same time, 3. Alexander Kristoff (NOR/Katusha) s.t., 4. Ruslan Tleubayev
(KAZ/Astana) s.t., 5. Danilo Napolitano (ITA/Wanty) s.t., 6. Daniele Colli
(ITA/Neri Sottoli) s.t., 7. Alessandro Bazzana (ITA/UnitedHealthcare) s.t., 8.
Marcel Kittel (GER/Giant-Shimano) s.t., 9. Kenneth Vanbilsen (BEL/Topsport)
s.t., 10. Marco Canola (ITA/Bardiani) s.t.

Selected others
12. Gert Steegmans (BEL/Omega Pharma) s.t.
Abandonned – Peter Sagan (SVK/Cannondale)

Overall standings
1. Gert Steegmans (BEL/Omega Pharma) 8h57:45, 2. Oscar Gatto
(ITA/Cannondale) at 1sec, 3. Kenneth Vanbilsen (BEL/Topsport) 3, 4. Niki
Terpstra (NED/Omega Pharma) 5, 5. Mauro Finetto (ITA/Neri Sottoli) 9, 6.
Vincent Jerome (BEL/Europcar) s.t., 7. Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (BEL/Omega
Pharma) s.t., 8. Arnaud Demare (FRA/FDJ) 14, 9. Luke Durbridge
(AUS/Orica-GreeEdge) 20, 10. Alexander Kristoff (NOR/Katusha) 24