Trofa, Portugal – Following his fourth place finish in Stage One of the 2012 Tour of Portugal, the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team’s Boy van Poppel (NED) finished fifth in Stage Two earlier today, Friday, August 17. Teammate Jay Thomson (RSA) remained in the yellow jersey after the 190.7km stage from Oliveira do Bairro to Trofa, and retained the King of the Mountain (KOM) jersey for the second consecutive day while the squad held onto the lead in the Team GC. Francesco Lasca (ITA) of Caja Rural sprinted through the line to win the stage while South Africa’s Reinardt Van Rensburg of MTN Qhubeka took second and Stephane Poulhies (FRA) of Saur-Sojasun rounded out the podium in third place.
For the second straight day, the boys from Team UnitedHealthcare controlled the race and after the hard work the squad put in defending the yellow jersey, van Poppel launched a valiant effort in his sprint for the stage win but finished just off the podium to score his second top five result of the Tour.
Team Director, Hendrik Redant, offered insight into his group’s outstanding performance. Redant said, “Today proved to be another hard but rewarding day for us in this prestigious race. The Team’s main goal was to preserve and defend the yellow jersey. Our boys listened carefully in the morning meeting and executed well against our plan to control the race and lead out the chase when an eventual break was on the road.”
“Jason McCartney (USA) was our captain on the road this afternoon. Experience is crucial on a day like today and Jason was the best guy to execute a job like this given all of the years he has spent leading the peloton. He is a man of steel!”
“Teamwork demands the power of everyone and today all of our riders – Brad White (USA), Davide Frattini (ITA), Kai Reus (NED), Jonny Clarke (AUS), and Marc de Maar (CUR) – along with Jay and Boy – were outstanding!” Redant continued.
The legendary Belgian rider now directing the U.S. based Pro Continental squad in Europe, added, “Boy’s job today was to stay calm and be prepared for the expected bunch sprint. Unfortunately, with 15km to go, he had a mechanical and had to spend a lot of energy to come back and still managed to finish fifth.”
“Jay Thomson was protected well by our boys today and completely restored from his great escape yesterday. It’s good to see him in yellow for another day, along with holding onto the blue KOM jersey,” Redant concluded.
The 10-stage Volta a Portugal em Bicicleta 2012 (Tour of Portugal) continues tomorrow and runs from August 15 – August 26, 2012.
TEAM UNITEDHEALTHCARE ROSTER FOR THE 2012 VOLTA A PORTUGAL (August 15-26):
Hilton Clarke (AUS)
Jonny Clarke (AUS)
Marc de Maar (CUR)
Davide Frattini (ITA)
Jason McCartney (USA)
Kai Reus (NED)
Jay Thomson (RSA)
Boy van Poppel (NED)
Brad White (USA)
Team Director: Hendrik Redant (BEL)
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