Second stage in Tour of Taiwan won by German


Fri, Nov 21, 2003 - Page 24

Germany's Tobias Erler out sprinted Kazakhstan's Mikhail Andreyev yesterday to win the second stage of the Tour of Taiwan.

The overall leader in the eight-stage competition was Kazyuki Manabe, of Japan's national team, who won the first stage. Manabe's total time of 7 hours, 7 minutes and 57 seconds gave him a 10-second lead over Iran's Ahad Kazemi Sarai of Giant Asia Racing.

Erler of Merida Germany rode the 189km second stage in 4:32.50 seconds, edging Andreyev of Dinamo-Alatau in a photo finish.

Koji Fukushima of Japan's national team finished third with 4:33.21 in the stage that began in the south-central town of Maulin and ended in east coast city of Taitung.

A small group of riders broke away early and built a five-minute lead on the main pack. But Erler said his team stayed patient and reeled in the riders.

"Our team controlled the whole race," he said.

Erler said that he and Andreyev attacked in the last 10km and caught the last rider in the breakaway 3km from the finish.

"The last 200m was a sprint between the two of us and I won," he said.

Ranked third in the overall standings was Juergen Kottula of Merida Germany. Kottula, who placed third in the first stage, was 1:53 behind the leader.

The race continues today with a 169km leg that starts in Taitung and heads south along the east coast to Hualien.