South Africa’s Daryl Impey won the second stage of the Tour of the Basque Country on Tuesday, but Italy’s Francesco Gavazzi, who he beat in the sprint for the line, took the leader’s green jersey.
Spain’s Angel Vicioso, who finished third on Monday, filled the same position again on the 170.2km stage from Elgoibar to Vitoria, Spain.
The 28-year-old Impey was following up his second stage win in the race last year.
Helped by his teammates, he held on strongly to prevail in the dash for the finish.
Gavazzi replaced Australian Simon Gerrans at the top of the overall standings.
The stage was marked by a solo breakaway by Amets Txurraka, with the peloton swooping 6km from the line.
The third stage took the riders 164.7km from Vitoria to Trapagaran, Spain, yesterday.
Alex Rasmussen’s removal from the Circuit de la Sarthe was due to administrative errors by the Danish rider’s Garmin-Sharp team, the International Cycling Union (UCI) said on Tuesday.
The UCI said Rasmussen was not eligible to race after “documents he was required to provide to Ernst & Young to allow registration were not provided in time.”
The governing body did not elaborate.
Rasmussen wrote on his Twitter feed on Tuesday from western France: “Just got taken out of La Sarthe by the evil and powerful UCI. Lifetime ban in effect by the UCI apparently.”
Rasmussen’s tweet led to some confusion, with the UCI and pundits alike mentioning a possible mix-up with fellow Danish cyclist Michael Rasmussen, who earlier this year confessed to doping over a 12-year period.
Alex Rasmussen was initially cleared by the Danish Olympic Committee after he missed two tests and failed to provide his whereabouts once in an 18-month period, but the UCI appealed against the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which imposed a ban on him.
Alex Rasmussen’s suspension ended on Monday.