Criterium du Dauphine Stage 2: Meersman 2nd for Second Straight Stage
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Gianni Meersman was guided into sprint position by his OPQS teammates, after a long day of chasing down breaks on a stage with six climbs, but a descent into a flat finish. The stage favored a bunch sprint finish, but that didn't stop several riders from trying to steal the stage in a breakaway.
Cannondale Pro Cycling Team also protected sprinter Elia Viviani, guiding him over the climbs and launching him in the final meters. Meersman was the first to launch, but Viviani quickly worked his way to Meersman's wheel, then past him to the line for the victory. Tony Gallopin (Radioshack-Leopard) was 3rd.
Meersman remains 2nd in the GC after the second stage, trailing David Veilleux (Team Europcar) by 1'56".
OPQS looks next to a 167km stage tomorrow. The stage includes only two categorized climbs, but the Category 3 ascents are near the finish. The finish is flat once again, and the stage could feature another sprint finale.