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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 August 2006, 15:25 GMT 16:25 UK
Hammond claims stage two victory
Roger Hammond
Hammond has been tipped for a move to T-Mobile
Oxford's Roger Hammond won the second stage of the Tour of Britain from Blackpool to Liverpool on Wednesday.

The Team Great Britain leader, 32, prevailed after a bunch sprint involving most of the field.

Holland's Aart Vierhouten was second, while British pair Russell Downing and Mark Cavendish finished third and fourth respectively.

Australia's Matthew Goss took the yellow jersey from stage one winner Martin Pedersen of Denmark.

Pedersen is two seconds behind Goss, while Spain's Luis Pasamontes is eight seconds back in third.

Hammond, who won a stage in Blackpool last year and has spent the last two years riding for the leading Discovery team, is fourth overall, two minutes 44 seconds off the pace.

My team-mates have produced a mega-performance - I haven't been given that sort of service for two years

Roger Hammond

Belgian pair Bert Roesems and Johan Van Summeren were almost six minutes ahead at one point having broken after just 3km.

But they were reeled in by the peloton 30km from the finish as the riders passed through Southport.

Hammond, who was led out by his team of young riders from British Cycling's Olympic academy, rated the efforts of his young team-mates as better than his Discovery colleagues.

"Those guys have produced a mega-performance," said Hammond. "They delivered me with 400 metres to go - I haven't been given that sort of service for the last two years."

Hammond was in the right place to take advantage of a mistake by Quick Step's Filippo Pozzato, who was trying to put world champion Tom Boonen in a winning position.

The Italian accidentally took the Belgian too wide on the final bend into Water Street and Hammond took full advantage.

"I was quite surprised - I didn't have a much faith in the guys as probably I should have had when Quick Step started riding flat out for Boonen.

"But our guys were all at the front with a few hundred metres to go and, when you think they are only 18 and 19 years old, it's a cracking performance."

The win will be extremely satisfying for Great Britain coach Rod Ellingworth given that his six riders only raced as a unit for the first time on Tuesday.

Sheffield's Downing leads the points standings after finishing third behind Skil-Shimano's Vierhouten.

And the DFL rider, 28, will be worth watching as he seeks victory in his home city in Thursday's Yorkshire stage.

Stage two result:
1 Roger Hammond (GB) Team Great Britain 3hrs 54mins 15secs
2 Aart Vierhouten (Ned) Skil-Shimano at same time
3 Russell Downing (GB) DFL-Cycling News-Litespeed at same time
4 Mark Cavendish (GB) T-Mobile at same time
5 James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago at same time

General classification:
1 Mathew Goss (Aus) South 7hrs 57mins 35secs
2 Martin Pedersen (Den) CSC at 2secs
3 Luis Pasamontes (Sp) at 8secs
4 Roger Hammond (GB) Team Great Britain at 2mins 44 secs
5 Aart Vierhouten (Ned) Skil-Shimano at 2mins 48secs

Pedersen edges opening stage win
29 Aug 06 |  Cycling
Tour of Britain stage guide
28 Aug 06 |  Cycling
Tour of Britain on the BBC
17 Aug 06 |  Cycling

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