photo credit @ Movistar
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) won stage 2 of this year’s Volta a Catalunya, in a sprint finale in Olot, Spain today.
As a densely held peloton headed into the final kilometer, the Spanish rider ultimately got the edge on his rivals during the closing few hundred meters to seize the victory.
Today’s 191.8 kilometer stage, which started in Mataro, saw a small breakaway group of four rider containing, Tsgabu Grmay (Lampre-Merida), Sam Bewley (Orica-GreenEdge), Tom Stamsnijder (Giant-Alpecin), and Luis Mas Bonet (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), get underway early on.
As the race reached the 60 kilometer mark, the escapees were holding an advantage of almost three minutes over the peloton.
However, with 25 kilometers remaining, the breakaway’s lead had been reduced to a little more than a minute.
As the race tackled one of the last of the day’s small climbs, Bonet and Grmay succeeded in riding clear of their breakaway companions.
While the rest of the escapees were being swept up by a fast approaching peloton, in a final attempt to stay outside of their clutches, Bonet decided to initiate another attack of his own. However, the Spanish rider was soon caught.
As the race headed into the final kilometer, Etixx-Quick-Step was at the helm, followed by Lotto-Soudal and Movistar.
JJ Rojas was the first rider to open up his sprint, in an effort to set up his teammate Valverde.
As a result, Valverde was perfectly delivered to victory, while Rojas finished second, followed by Martin Elmiger (IAM Cycling) who rounded out the podium in third.
Following the results of today’s stage, Maciej Paterski (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) managed to hold onto his overall lead in the general classification – heading into tomorrow’s 156.6 kilometer stage, which starts and finishes in Girona.
photo credit @ Twitter
Stage 2 Results
ESP 1 VALVERDE BELMONTE, Alejandro (MOVISTAR) 5:02:49
ESP 2 ROJAS GIL, Jose Joaquin (MOVISTAR)
SUI 3 ELMIGER, Martin (IAM CYCLING)
FRA 4 HIVERT, Jonathan (BRETAGNE-SECHE ENVIRONNEMENT)
NED 5 KELDERMAN, Wilco (LOTTO NL – JUMBO)
FRA 6 SIMON, Julien (COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS)
ESP 7 PRADES REVERTE, Eduard (CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA)
POR 8 SILVESTRE, Fabio (TREK FACTORY RACING)
RUS 9 KOCHETKOV, Pavel (KATUSHA)
ITA 10 MALACARNE, Davide (ASTANA)
General Classification after Stage 2
POL 1 PATERSKI, Maciej (CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE) 9:36:20
FRA 2 ROLLAND, Pierre (EUROPCAR) + 4
BEL 3 DE CLERCQ, Bart (LOTTO SOUDAL) + 8
ESP 4 VALVERDE BELMONTE, Alejandro (MOVISTAR) + 2:40
ESP 5 ROJAS GIL, Jose Joaquin (MOVISTAR) + 2:44
SUI 6 ELMIGER, Martin (IAM CYCLING) + 2:46
NED 7 POELS, Wouter (SKY) + 2:47
IRL 8 ROCHE, Nicolas (SKY) + 2:48
IRL 9 MARTIN, Daniel (CANNONDALE – GARMIN) + 2:49
FRA 10 SIMON, Julien (COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS) + 2:50
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