PureBlack Racing’s Scott Lyttle has taken the lead in the 2011 Tour de Toona after winning the second stage in the four-day tour. The 117km road race, with a mountain top finish at the end of an 8km climb, was perfectly suited to Lyttle an expert climber. Lyttle’s success follows that of team mate Roman van Uden who was riding in the yellow leader jersey today after winning the tour opener Time Trial yesterday.
Lyttle’s win follows on from his superb performance at the Tour de Beauce last month showing that he is quickly returning to the sort of form he showed when he was riding in Europe two years ago.
Carl Williams, Sports Director of PureBlack Racing said, “Two wins from the first two stages of the Tour de Toona shows the team is really starting to ride into some strong form as we hit the business end of our season. Again it was a strong team effort with Scott away in the break the rest of the team were on the front of the peloton maintaining control over the speed and the tempo of the chase.”
A break of six riders got away in the first 15-20km of the race and Scott Lyttle, who was in the group stayed away for the whole day, ultimately triumphed. The maximum time gap got out to five minutes. But when two riders crashed on a particularly technical turn, made slippery by heavy rain with about 30kms to go, it came back to four minutes as the other four decided to wait and give them a chance to re-join to maintain the strength of the breakaway.
At the start of the climb Chris Baldwin from Bissell launched a chase from the peloton, which saw him get to within 30 seconds of what was now a breakaway of four. With 5km to go Scott decided it was time to put his foot down and stay in front and was very quickly riding solo at the head of the field. Chris Baldwin continued to chase hard as riders were now strung out along the climb to the finish and pass three in the last breakaway. Lyttle managed to stay at least 20 seconds ahead and rode across the line to win his second major road stage in PureBlack Racing’s debut US season.
Van Uden rode strongly up the climb to finish in 10th and 7th place in overall GC. Lyttle now leads the tour and wears the yellow jersey by 30 seconds as well as leading in the King of the Mountain.