Hunter conquers all in Caravaca de la Cruz

Garmin-Transitions' fastman goes two-for-two in Spain

As the saying goes, 'success breeds success', and Robbie Hunter (Garmin-Transitions) personified the adage as he stormed to his second stage win at the Vuelta Ciclista a la Region de Murcia on Thursday.

In a carbon copy of the stage 24-hours previous, Hunter again topped the result sheets, with Graeme Brown (Rabobank) and Vicente Reynes (HTC-Columbia) filling the next two places.

Hunter's win also survived the scrutiny of the race jury after Brown's Rabobank team lodged a protest against the South African's sprint. Cleared of any misconduct Hunter was left to savour his win and possession of the overall leader's jersey for at least another day.

Hills provide the thrills on stage two

Sans Huub Duyn (Team Netapp) and Stephane Rossetto (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team), a 109-strong peloton departed Calasparra on a cloudy day in Spain. The day's route included a repeated ascent of the Category 1 Alto de San Juan, the second of which could come 40 kilometres before the finish in Caravaca de la Cruz.

With the climb providing a carrot to would-be escapees attacks began early with large groups attempting to get away. Several waves of 20-odd riders flooded off the front of the peloton, but each time were quickly reabsorbed thanks largely to the efforts of Cervélo, CCC Polsat and the Spanish National Team.

It took the first ascent of the San Juan - at 57 kilometres - to create the first successful escape. Serguey Lagutin (Vacansoleil) led José Herrada (Caja Rural), Stefan Denifl (Cervélo Test Team), Wouter Poels (Vacansoleil), Roman Kireyev (Astana) and Stef Clement (Rabobank) over the crest of the mountain, with RadioShack's Jason McCartney and Gregory Rast, Danny Pate (Garmin-Transitions) and Dominik Nerz (Milram) also along for the ride.

The climb also succeeded in splitting the peloton into two groups, with Lance Armstrong (RadioShack), Bradley Wiggins (Sky) and defending champion Denis Menchov (Rabobank) present and accounted for in the forward section. Over the next 30 kilometres the breakaway was able to stretch its advantage to around 1:20.

However, neither the separation of the peloton nor the break would last much longer. With Sky at the head of the re-formed main group the escape was neutralized in time for the race's second run at San Juan.

Lagutin stubborn in bolt to the finish

The mountain once again saw the race light up. Clearly not content with his earlier effort, Lagutin took line honours again at the summit. This time, however, the Uzbek rider was solo as he bombed down the other side with a lead of some two minutes over the rest of the field, 35 kilometres yet to cover.

Quickly, though, the Vacansoleil rider's grip on the lead began to slip. Within four kilometres his advantage had dropped to 1:25. Yet, in spite of the stampede behind, a time check of 1:05 at 26km-to-go indicated that Lagutin would go down swinging. With Robbie Hunter's overall lead also under threat Garmin-Transitions took responsibility for the chase.

The US squad's increased interest had an instant effect and with 20 kilometres left Lagutin's lead had halved. With the outskirts of Caravaca de la Cruz flashing past, the peloton caught sight of their prey. Somehow, Lagutin managed to kick again and prepared to enter the final 10 kilometres of the stage with a 40-second buffer.

Two kilometres later, the clock was still in favour of Lagutin, but only just; 25 seconds the gap. Alas, the fairytale was not to be, the brave effort reduced to nil as the reality of a sprint finale replaced the prior pursuit.

Déjà vu reigned at the finish as the result of stage one was repeated. Hunter defended his overall lead in the best way possible as he sprinted to his second sprint win in as many days. Graeme Brown (Rabobank) once again fell short of the top step as both he and Vicente Reynes (HTC-Columbia) claimed the remaining podium positions.

Full Results
1Robert Hunter (RSA) Garmin - Transitions4:20:12 
2Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank  
3Vicente Reynes (Spa) Team HTC - Columbia  
4Alexandre Blain (Fra) Endura Racing  
5Daniel Schorn (Aut) Team Netapp  
6Frantisek Rabon (Cze) Team HTC - Columbia  
7Michel Kreder (Ned) Garmin - Transitions  
8Ian Wilkilson (GBr) Endura Racing  
9Josep Jufre (Spa) Astana  
10Daryl Impey (RSA) Team Radioshack  
11Valentin Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana  
12Michal Golas (Pol) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
13Peter Wrolich (Aut) Team Milram  
14Sergey Shilov (Rus) Russian National Team  
15Luke Roberts (Aus) Team Milram  
16Pieter Weening (Ned) Rabobank  
17Thomas Rohregger (Aut) Team Milram  
18Matteo Carrara (Ita) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
19Rob Ruijgh (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
20Egor Korolev (Rus) Russian National Team  
21Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice  
22Wouter Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
23Jan Barta (Cze) Team Netapp0:00:05 
24Salvador Guardiola (Spa) Spanish National Team  
25Artur Ershow (Rus) Russian National Team  
26Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana  
27Martin Velits (Svk) Team HTC - Columbia  
28Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank  
29Jack Bauer (NZl) Endura Racing  
30Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Team Netapp  
31Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky  
32Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana  
33Henning Bommel (Ger) German National Team  
34Andreas Klöden (Ger) Team Radioshack  
35Lance Armstrong (USA) Team Radioshack  
36Gregory Rast (Swi) Team Radioshack  
37Danny Pate (USA) Garmin - Transitions  
38Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank  
39Stef Clement (Ned) Rabobank  
40Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Team Radioshack  
41Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
42Evan Oliphant (GBr) Endura Racing  
43Mauricio Ardila (Col) Rabobank  
44Robert Partridge (GBr) Endura Racing  
45Stefan Denifl (Aut) Cervélo TestTeam  
46Vitor Rodrigues (Por) Caja Rural  
47Higinio Fernández (Spa) Caja Rural  
48José Herrada (Spa) Caja Rural  
49Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin - Transitions  
50Dariusz Batek (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice  
51Marcel Wyss (Swi) Cervélo TestTeam  
52Rubén Reig (Spa) Caja Rural  
53Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
54Iñigo Cuesta (Spa) Cervélo TestTeam  
55Oscar Pujol (Spa) Cervélo TestTeam  
56Alexander Rybakov (Rus) Russian National Team  
57José Luis Rubiera (Spa) Team Radioshack  
58David Zabriskie (USA) Garmin - Transitions  
59Gert Dockx (Bel) Team HTC - Columbia  
60Jan Ghyselinck (Bel) Team HTC - Columbia  
61Roman Kireyev (Kaz) Astana  
62Alexsandr Dyachenko (Kaz) Astana  
63Jason Mccartney (USA) Team Radioshack  
64Philip Deignan (Irl) Cervélo TestTeam  
65Sergey Chernetskiy (Rus) Russian National Team  
66James Moss (GBr) Endura Racing0:00:21 
67Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Team Netapp0:00:32 
68Patrick Gretsch (Ger) Team HTC - Columbia0:00:40 
69Dominik Nerz (Ger) Team Milram  
70Trent Lowe (Aus) Garmin - Transitions0:02:11 
71Morris Possoni (Ita) Team Sky0:03:39 
72Julian Dean (NZl) Garmin - Transitions0:05:16 
73Arturo Mora (Spa) Caja Rural0:10:56 
74Bolat Raimbekov (Kaz) Astana  
75Joao Correia (Por) Cervélo TestTeam0:13:45 
76Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Caja Rural  
77José Carlos Lara (Spa) Spanish National Team  
78Víctor Cabedo (Spa) Spanish National Team  
79Timon Seubert (Ger) Team Netapp  
80Nico Keinath (Ger) Team Netapp  
81Stefan Schafer (Ger) German National Team0:13:48 
82Roger Kluge (Ger) Team Milram0:13:49 
83Marcel Barth (Ger) German National Team  
84Erik Mohs (Ger) German National Team  
85Aleksejs Saramotins (Lat) Team HTC - Columbia  
86Ross Creber (GBr) Endura Racing0:18:09 
87Russell Downing (GBr) Team Sky  
88Theo Bos (Ned) Cervélo TestTeam  
89Pablo Lechuga (Spa) Spanish National Team  
90Krzystof Jezowsky (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice  
91Tomasz Lisowicz (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice  
92Alexander Sokolov (Rus) Russian National Team  
93Maxim Kozyrev (Rus) Russian National Team  
94Lukasz Bodnart (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice  
95Oleg Chuzhda (Ukr) Caja Rural  
96Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Team Sky  
97Robert Bengsch (Ger) German National Team  
98Robert Bartko (Ger) German National Team  
99Nicolas Portal (Fra) Team Sky  
100Dominik Roels (Ger) Team Milram  
101Bjorn Schroder (Ger) Team Milram  
102John Lee Augustyn (RSA) Team Sky  
103Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky  
104Dmitry Kozontchuk (Rus) Rabobank  
105Adan Sznitko (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice0:24:37 
106Manuel Anton (Spa) Spanish National Team0:26:02 
107Antonio Cabello (Spa) Spanish National Team  
DNFDavid Calatayud (Spa) Spanish National Team  
DNFTomasz Repinski (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice  
Points - Finish
1Robert Hunter (RSA) Garmin - Transitions25pts
2Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank20 
3Vicente Reynes (Spa) Team HTC - Columbia16 
4Alexandre Blain (Fra) Endura Racing14 
5Daniel Schorn (Aut) Team Netapp12 
6Frantisek Rabon (Cze) Team HTC - Columbia10 
7Michel Kreder (Ned) Garmin - Transitions9 
8Ian Wilkilson (GBr) Endura Racing8 
9Josep Jufre (Spa) Astana7 
10Daryl Impey (RSA) Team Radioshack6 
11Valentin Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana5 
12Michal Golas (Pol) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team4 
13Peter Wrolich (Aut) Team Milram3 
14Sergey Shilov (Rus) Russian National Team2 
15Luke Roberts (Aus) Team Milram1 
Sprint 1
1Alexandre Blain (Fra) Endura Racing3pts
2Stef Clement (Ned) Rabobank2 
3Erik Mohs (Ger) German National Team1 
Sprint 2
1Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team3pts
2José Luis Rubiera (Spa) Team Radioshack2 
3Roman Kireyev (Kaz) Astana1 
Mountain 1 - Alto de San Juan, Category 1
1Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team10pts
2José Herrada (Spa) Caja Rural8 
3Stefan Denifl (Aut) Cervélo TestTeam6 
4Wouter Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team4 
5Roman Kireyev (Kaz) Astana2 
6Stef Clement (Ned) Rabobank1 
Mountain 1 - Alto de San Juan, Category 1
1Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team10pts
2Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team8 
3Stefan Denifl (Aut) Cervélo TestTeam6 
4Danny Pate (USA) Garmin - Transitions4 
5Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin - Transitions2 
6Trent Lowe (Aus) Garmin - Transitions1 
1Team Milram13:00:36 
2Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
3Team HTC - Columbia0:00:05 
4Endura Racing  
5Garmin - Transitions  
8Russian National Team  
9Team Netapp0:00:10 
10Team Radioshack  
11Caja Rural0:00:15 
12Cervelo Test Team  
13CCC Polsat Polkowice0:18:14 
14Team Sky0:21:53 
15Spanish National Team0:27:35 
16German National Team0:27:42 
General Classification
1Robert Hunter (RSA) Garmin - Transitions8:35:52 
2Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank  
3Vicente Reynes (Spa) Team HTC - Columbia  
4Daniel Schorn (Aut) Team Netapp  
5Daryl Impey (RSA) Team Radioshack  
6Ian Wilkilson (GBr) Endura Racing  
7Michal Golas (Pol) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
8Alexandre Blain (Fra) Endura Racing  
9Josep Jufre (Spa) Astana  
10Luke Roberts (Aus) Team Milram  
11Sergey Shilov (Rus) Russian National Team  
12Egor Korolev (Rus) Russian National Team  
13Rob Ruijgh (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
14Frantisek Rabon (Cze) Team HTC - Columbia  
15Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice  
16Wouter Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
17Thomas Rohregger (Aut) Team Milram  
18Peter Wrolich (Aut) Team Milram  
19Pieter Weening (Ned) Rabobank  
20Matteo Carrara (Ita) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
21Dominik Nerz (Ger) Team Milram  
22Artur Ershow (Rus) Russian National Team0:00:05 
23Martin Velits (Svk) Team HTC - Columbia  
24Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky  
25Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
26Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana  
27Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank  
28Andreas Klöden (Ger) Team Radioshack  
29Gregory Rast (Swi) Team Radioshack  
30José Herrada (Spa) Caja Rural  
31Stef Clement (Ned) Rabobank  
32Lance Armstrong (USA) Team Radioshack  
33Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Team Netapp  
34Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank  
35Danny Pate (USA) Garmin - Transitions  
36Sergey Chernetskiy (Rus) Russian National Team  
37Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Team Radioshack  
38Vitor Rodrigues (Por) Caja Rural  
39Gert Dockx (Bel) Team HTC - Columbia  
40Rubén Reig (Spa) Caja Rural  
41Alexsandr Dyachenko (Kaz) Astana  
42José Luis Rubiera (Spa) Team Radioshack  
43David Zabriskie (USA) Garmin - Transitions  
44Jason Mccartney (USA) Team Radioshack  
45Patrick Gretsch (Ger) Team HTC - Columbia0:00:40 
46Jan Barta (Cze) Team Netapp0:00:43 
47Salvador Guardiola (Spa) Spanish National Team  
48Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana  
49Evan Oliphant (GBr) Endura Racing  
50Stefan Denifl (Aut) Cervélo TestTeam  
51Marcel Wyss (Swi) Cervélo TestTeam  
52Jack Bauer (NZl) Endura Racing0:01:03 
53Oscar Pujol (Spa) Cervélo TestTeam0:01:09 
54Mauricio Ardila (Col) Rabobank0:02:53 
55Robert Partridge (GBr) Endura Racing  
56Dariusz Batek (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice  
57Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin - Transitions  
58Iñigo Cuesta (Spa) Cervélo TestTeam  
59Jan Ghyselinck (Bel) Team HTC - Columbia  
60Philip Deignan (Irl) Cervélo TestTeam  
61Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Team Netapp0:03:20 
62Morris Possoni (Ita) Team Sky0:04:17 
63Valentin Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana0:07:46 
64Henning Bommel (Ger) German National Team0:07:51 
65Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
66Higinio Fernández (Spa) Caja Rural  
67Alexander Rybakov (Rus) Russian National Team  
68Roman Kireyev (Kaz) Astana  
69Michel Kreder (Ned) Garmin - Transitions0:08:06 
70James Moss (GBr) Endura Racing0:08:07 
71Trent Lowe (Aus) Garmin - Transitions0:09:57 
72Bolat Raimbekov (Kaz) Astana0:10:56 
73Julian Dean (NZl) Garmin - Transitions0:13:02 
74Víctor Cabedo (Spa) Spanish National Team0:13:45 
75Roger Kluge (Ger) Team Milram0:13:49 
76Aleksejs Saramotins (Lat) Team HTC - Columbia  
77Erik Mohs (Ger) German National Team0:16:37 
78Russell Downing (GBr) Team Sky0:18:09 
79Krzystof Jezowsky (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice  
80Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Team Sky  
81John Lee Augustyn (RSA) Team Sky  
82Nicolas Portal (Fra) Team Sky  
83Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky  
84Arturo Mora (Spa) Caja Rural0:18:42 
85Oleg Chuzhda (Ukr) Caja Rural0:18:47 
86Theo Bos (Ned) Cervélo TestTeam0:19:17 
87Bjorn Schroder (Ger) Team Milram0:20:01 
88Dmitry Kozontchuk (Rus) Rabobank0:20:57 
89Nico Keinath (Ger) Team Netapp0:21:31 
90José Carlos Lara (Spa) Spanish National Team  
91Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Caja Rural  
92Timon Seubert (Ger) Team Netapp  
93Joao Correia (Por) Cervélo TestTeam  
94Stefan Schafer (Ger) German National Team0:21:34 
95Marcel Barth (Ger) German National Team0:21:35 
96Ross Creber (GBr) Endura Racing0:25:55 
97Tomasz Lisowicz (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice  
98Dominik Roels (Ger) Team Milram  
99Lukasz Bodnart (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice  
100Robert Bengsch (Ger) German National Team  
101Robert Bartko (Ger) German National Team  
102Alexander Sokolov (Rus) Russian National Team  
103Maxim Kozyrev (Rus) Russian National Team  
104Pablo Lechuga (Spa) Spanish National Team0:26:44 
105Adan Sznitko (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice0:32:23 
106Antonio Cabello (Spa) Spanish National Team0:33:48 
107Manuel Anton (Spa) Spanish National Team  
Points Classification
1Robert Hunter (RSA) Garmin - Transitions50pts
2Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank40 
3Vicente Reynes (Spa) Team HTC - Columbia32 
4Alexandre Blain (Fra) Endura Racing20 
5Daniel Schorn (Aut) Team Netapp19 
6Daryl Impey (RSA) Team Radioshack18 
7Ian Wilkilson (GBr) Endura Racing14 
8Roger Kluge (Ger) Team Milram14 
9Michal Golas (Pol) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team13 
10Frantisek Rabon (Cze) Team HTC - Columbia10 
11Krzystof Jezowsky (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice10 
12Josep Jufre (Spa) Astana9 
13Michel Kreder (Ned) Garmin - Transitions9 
14Russell Downing (GBr) Team Sky8 
15Valentin Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana5 
16Bolat Raimbekov (Kaz) Astana5 
17Víctor Cabedo (Spa) Spanish National Team4 
18Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team3 
19Egor Korolev (Rus) Russian National Team3 
20Peter Wrolich (Aut) Team Milram3 
21Luke Roberts (Aus) Team Milram2 
22Sergey Shilov (Rus) Russian National Team2 
23Luke Roberts (Aus) Team Milram2 
24José Luis Rubiera (Spa) Team Radioshack2 
25Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team2 
26Rubén Reig (Spa) Caja Rural1 
27Roman Kireyev (Kaz) Astana1 
28Erik Mohs (Ger) German National Team1 
Mountains Classification
1Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team20pts
2Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team17 
3Stefan Denifl (Aut) Cervélo TestTeam12 
4José Herrada (Spa) Caja Rural8 
5Danny Pate (USA) Garmin - Transitions7 
6Wouter Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team4 
7Rubén Reig (Spa) Caja Rural4 
8Alexandre Blain (Fra) Endura Racing2 
9Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin - Transitions2 
10Roman Kireyev (Kaz) Astana2 
11Stef Clement (Ned) Rabobank1 
12Trent Lowe (Aus) Garmin - Transitions1 
Teams Classification
1Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team25:47:36 
2Team Milram  
3Team HTC - Columbia0:00:05 
4Russian National Team  
6Garmin - Transitions  
8Team Radioshack0:00:10 
9Caja Rural0:00:15 
10Endura Racing0:00:43 
11Team Netapp0:00:48 
12Cervelo Test Team0:02:35 
13CCC Polsat Polkowice0:21:02 
14Team Sky0:21:53 
15Spanish National Team0:35:59 
16German National Team0:46:02 

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