Nairo Quintana of Movistar has won Stage 2 of the Vuelta in Calpe while Team Sunweb’s Nicolas Roche has moved into the overall lead of the race.
The pair were both in a six-man group that got away on the late Category 2 climb of the Alto de Puig Llorenca on the 199.6-kilometre stage from Benidorm.
It was a group packed with quality, and besides Roche, who finished 5 seconds behind the Colombian, also contained Jumbo-Visma’s Primoz Roglic, who lost time to a number of rivals after crashing during yesterday’s team time trial.
Quintana attacked with 20 kilometres remaining, Roche going with him, but the Movistar rider went again with 3 kilometres left, by which time Roglic had rejoined the front pair.
The Slovenian finished third on the same time as Roche, with EF Education’s First’s Rigoberto Uran fourth and Fabio Aru of UAE Team Emirates – another rider to crash yesterday – fifth. The final member of the sextet, Mikel Nieve of Mitchelton Scott, was seventh.
Miguel Angel Lopez, whose Astana team won yesterday’s stage against the clock, with Team Sunweb 5 seconds back in third place, was in a 12-man group that crossed the line 37 seconds down on the winner.
Roglic’s co-leader at Jumbo-Visma Steven Kruijswijk – who also hit the deck in yesterday’s chute – was in a group that finished 1 minute 43 seconds behind Quintana.
Team Ineos, meanwhile had a torrid day, its joint leaders Tao Geoghegan Hart and Wout Poels finishing almost 10 minutes after the stage had been won.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.