Cycling: Ardila rises to summit as peaks take toll

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The Independent Online

The demanding climbs of the Peak District took their toll on the riders during the second stage of the five-day Tour of Britain race yesterday.

The demanding climbs of the Peak District took their toll on the riders during the second stage of the five-day Tour of Britain race yesterday.

The Colombian climber Mauricio Ardila used his featherweight build and natural climbing skills to win the 107-mile stage from Leeds to Sheffield as he finished one second ahead of Belgium's Nick Nuyens and Italy's Paolo Savoldelli - and also took the leader's yellow jersey from Italy's Stefano Zanini.

Thanks to a time bonus for winning the stage, Ardila is now five seconds ahead of Nuyens in the overall standings. The British national champion Roger Hammond finished 11th on the stage, 10 seconds behind Ardila. The Oxford rider is now 13th overall at 20 seconds but still has a chance of winning.

Britain's triple Olympic track cycling medallist Bradley Wiggins suffered the drastic transition from 4km Olympic track pursuits to 100-mile road races, finishing 20 minutes behind the leading riders.

Ardila was part of a seven-rider attack which went clear in the final 15 miles of the race and then attacked 500 yards from the finish. "The climbs in Britain are very different to those near my home in Colombia," he said. "I live at an altitude of 1,700 metres and the climbs last for 10km. Here they're shorter but steeper - but I like them."

It was Ardila's fourth win during his three years as a professional in Europe.

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