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Tour Of Connecticut – Stage 2 – Navigators Report

May 21, 2005 – Stage-2 of the third edition of the Tour of Connecticut was held earlier today on the hills surrounding Waterbury, Connecticut. The 100-Km stage is known as the “Climbers Cup” due to its steep pitches, 7600-feet of climbing, and fast descents. Recognized as one of the most demanding circuits on the NRC circuit, this stage traditionally defines the Overall Classification for the race.

Following a flurry of early-race escapes, a solo effort by TIAA-CREF’s Tim Duggan was matched by Todd Wells (Capital Velo Club), after about five laps. Working together, the duo stretched their advantage to about 1:15 over the main pack of racers that was being whittled down by the demanding circuit. The men-in-blue spent most of the day keeping the Yellow Jersey of race leader Vassili Davidenko near the front and out of trouble, while neutralizing any other serious attacks. With most of the action occurring on the main climb, the Navigators Insurance squad fought to protect Vassili, and with 7-laps remaining took convincing control of the front to discourage further action.

As the two leaders were brought back into the fold, the action began to heat up in earnest as Colavita’s Mark McCormack and Davide Frattini attacked and began their assault on the Navigators squad. The attacks came in succession on each climb, and with 3-laps of the 4.1-mile circuit remaining, Frattini broke clear with Navigators’ Chris Baldwin in tow. In less than 2-miles, race leader Davidenko and Canada’s Dominique Perras (Kodak-Sierra Nevada) also made it across, to make it an elite break of four.

With a lot of climbing horsepower still in the main field of about 22 riders, the gap held steady at 15-seconds for more than a lap. The final ascent of the climb saw Baldwin driving the breakaway and increasing their lead to 20-seconds. On the fast, final descent and run-in around the Waterbury Green, Baldwin kept the pressure on the others. Davidenko jumped clear coming out of the final corner and led over the final 300-meters to take his second stage-victory in as many days. Chris Baldwin claimed the 3rd step of the podium, Perras was fourth, while Navigators’ Oleg Grishkine sprinted home for 5th.

1. Vassili Davidenko (Navigators Insurance)
2. Davide Frattini (Colavita)
3. Chris Baldwin (Navigators Insurance)
4. Dominique Perras (Kodak-Sierra Nevada)
5. Oleg Grishkine (Navigators Insurance)

Overall GC:
1. Vassili Davidenko (Navigators Insurance)

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