Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana 2017

February 1- 5, 2017, Orihuela, Valencia, Road - 2.1

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
susan westemeyer

Welcome to Spain. Today we take on 163 bumpy kilometres in Valencia. 

 

 

  1. 12:29:32 CET

    We have moved from Dubai to Valencia! Instead of the desert winds, we are taking on 163 km from Canals to Riba-Roja de Turia.
  2. 12:33:32 CET

    It is a rolling stage today, with one big bump near the middle. Not enough to be a ranked climb, though. And we expect a sprint finish.

  3. 12:37:41 CET

    The stage has started and we have already had multiple escape attempts quite early on. None has yet been successful.

     

  4. 12:44:06 CET

    Yesterday's stage two ended with a dramatic solo win for Tony Martin. The World time trial champion brought in his first win for his new team, Katusha-Alpecin.

     

  5. 12:46:21 CET

    And here our race report from yesterday's stage.

     

  6. 12:52:12 CET

    Here the top five in GC. You will remember that BMC won the team time trial in stage one.

    1 Greg Van Avermaet (BMC)

    2 Manuel Senni (BMC)

    3 Ben Hermans (BMC)

    4 David Lopez (Sky)

    5 Nicolas Roche (BMC)

  7. 12:54:34 CET

    Johann Van Zyl (Dimension Data) leads the mountain classification, and with no ranked cimb today, he will hold on to it another day. Cyril Gautier (AG2R) leads both the sprint and combined rankings, with Manuel Senni (BMC) best young rider. BMC is top team.

  8. 12:57:19 CET

    A group of four got away after 6 km: Alexis Gourgeard (AG2R), Aitor Gonzalez (Euskadi Basque Country), Daniel Lopez (Burgos-BH) and Tyler Williams (Israel Cycling Academy).
  9. 13:00:17 CET

     

    They are being chased by Julio Amores (Inteja Dominican) and Ben Perry (Israel Cycling Academy). The four leaders are at 1:45, with these two 20 seconds down.

  10. 13:06:05 CET

    Amores and Perry have caught the leaders, but Lopez seems to be out of the group now. That gives us five in the lead with a gap of 3:30 after 20 km.

     

  11. 13:09:09 CET

    Lopez is 20 seconds behind the break group, after 24 km.

     

  12. 13:12:34 CET

    We were expecting some dramatic action and climbs in Dubai today, but the wind and blowing sands put an end to that. The stage was first shortened and then ultimately cancelled before a single KM could be ridden.

     

  13. 13:19:14 CET

    Lopez has caught up with the lead group and has taken the first intermediate sprint, ahead of Perry and Williams.

     

  14. 13:25:27 CET

    Here is what Tony Martin had to say on his website about his win yesterday in Stage 2: "From our training camp I especially knew the final climb quite well and knew where I had to attack. In the finale I took full risk on the descent. Either the barrier or the victory ;-) I know that I can descent well even in the rain. I had full trust in our material and it paid off. The win is very satisfying and confirmation that I took the right step with my team change. I dedicate it to the team,which perfectly supported me this winter."
  15. 126km remaining from 163km

    13:27:42 CET

    The six riders up front now have 4 minutes on the field.
  16. 13:33:57 CET

    Fisticuffs! Fights! They don't have any place in pro cycling, right? Well maybe not, but they are there anyway. Take a look at what happens when riders attack.

  17. 13:38:26 CET

    The decision to cancel today's Dubai stage was apparently a relatively easy and unanimous one. The idea of replacing it with an improvised short time trial was not possible.

     

  18. 13:41:13 CET

    With 40 km down, about one-quarter of the stage, the break group has 3:40 over the peloton, which is led by Movistar and Orica-Scott.

     

  19. 13:48:10 CET

    There seems to be no end to some things. The UK Anti-Doping agency may well face questions into its earlier investigation of the Linda McCartney team. 

     

  20. 13:53:53 CET

    As we said, it was pretty much a unanimous decision to cancel today's Dubai stage.

     

  21. 13:59:59 CET

    Cofidis and BMC have moved to the head of the field and brought the gap down to 2:32.

     

  22. 98km remaining from 163km

    14:09:46 CET

     The gap continues to drop and is now at only 2:05.

  23. 14:26:16 CET

    Just to add some more controversy and doping into your day: A Dutch court won't pull Thomas Dekker's doping-confession book from the market. 

     

  24. 14:27:21 CET

    Only two minutes left with 90 km to go. Cofidis is leading the charge because they want a sprint finish. But it really is very very early to bring things back together.

     

  25. 14:32:31 CET

    Meanwhile, over in the Etoile de Besseges, there is a huge 22 rider break.

     

  26. 14:43:54 CET

    The day started out with racing Down Under, as Luke Rowe (Sky) won stage 2 of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour 

     

  27. 14:55:59 CET

    Who is the best sprinter so far this year, and who will be the best by the end of the year -- these and more subjects are under discussion in our most recent podcast. 

     

  28. 15:04:44 CET

    Yesterday was a big day for German cycling. Tony Martin won here and John Degenkolb won in Dubai, whilst MarcelKittel retained his race lead.

    A big day too for Katusha, as Alexander Kristoff won in Etoile de Besseges almost simultaneously with Martin.

     

  29. 15:06:16 CET

    The peloton has splintered into numerous groups, and the gap has dropped to 1:27. And yes the wind is acting up here. 

     

  30. 15:07:19 CET

    But at least there is lovely sunshine here, and no sandstorms!

     

  31. 57km remaining from 163km

    15:10:51 CET

    The gap has now dropped to under a minute, at 50 seconds. But there is still a long way to go to the finish line.

     

  32. 15:13:42 CET

    48 km and only 30 seconds. And we are down to only five riders in the lead group. 

     

  33. 119km remaining from 163km

    15:18:54 CET

    Looks like we are down to only 4 in the lead group now, and only 28 seconds. 

     

  34. 15:21:42 CET

    No, it is five. Amores of Inteja Dominican seems to have dropped somewhere along the way.

     

  35. 15:22:51 CET

    Either the peloton realized they are getting too close too soon, or the break group has found its second wind. The gap is again around 50 seconds.

     

  36. 15:25:42 CET

    There was a lot of wind earlier, but it looks relatively calm now. The peloton is relatively bunched up.

     

  37. 15:29:32 CET

    Cofidis is riding today for Nacer Bouhanni, as the feisty sprinter is looking for his first season win.

     

  38. 15:30:51 CET

    We actually have three groups here. The five leaders re 48 seconds ahead of the yellow jersey group and another peloton is 1:45 back.

     

  39. 15:36:37 CET

    Bryan Couquard (Direct Energie)  is another candidate for a sprint win here today.

     

  40. 15:37:33 CET

    34 km and 49 seconds, and we are getting some attacks out of the field.

     

  41. 15:41:59 CET

    One of the attackers is Jos van Eden of LottoNL-Jumbo. He and his companion are quickly moving up to the break group.

     

  42. 15:45:06 CET

    Elmar Reinders (Roompot) and Van Emden have now joined the leaders.

     

  43. 15:48:59 CET

    Lopez  pays tribute to the pace and has to drop from the lead group.

     

  44. 26km remaining from 163km

    15:50:55 CET

    Van Emden takes off from the lead group, looking perhaps to solo in as Martin did yesterday.

     

  45. 15:52:20 CET

    That causes everyone else to pick up the speed a notch or two.

     

  46. 15:54:17 CET

    Van Emden is not Tony Martin, but he is a good time trialist. Good enough to give a scare to the peloton, who doesn't really want to let anyone go again.

     

  47. 15:57:26 CET

    Van Emden is a former Dutch national time trial champion and has won a number of time trials.

     

  48. 15:58:04 CET

    A sharp 180 degree turn for the peloton and fortunately everyone makes it through safely.

     

  49. 16:02:07 CET

    16 km. Van Emden has 16 seconds on the former break grou, with the field not much further back.

     

  50. 16:05:22 CET

    It is not to be. The large field now has all the escapees, including Van Emden, in its sights, and it won't be long now. 13 km to go.

     

  51. 16:05:50 CET

    Van Emden is of course not giving up, though!

     

  52. 16:07:46 CET

    Igor Merino of the Burgos team jumps from the peloton in pursuit of Van Emden.

     

  53. 16:08:21 CET

    All together again with 11 km to go.

     

  54. 16:09:59 CET

    Direkt Energie gathering near the front. Dimension Data is also getting together on the side.

     

  55. 16:12:21 CET

    Three riders attacj,

     

  56. 7km remaining from 163km

    16:13:36 CET

    But they are caught again quickly.

     

  57. 16:17:36 CET

    With 5 km, another rider tries to get away, someone one from Direct Energie.

     

  58. 16:18:45 CET

    He too is caught. 3 km to go.

     

  59. 16:19:22 CET

    Martin leads the Katusha train to the front.

     

  60. 16:20:22 CET

    Inside the last km, a QuickStep rider takes off.

     

  61. 16:20:56 CET

    He s caught with 400 to go.

     

  62. 16:21:46 CET

    Direct Energie and Bouahnni go head to head to the finish line.

     

  63. 16:22:52 CET

    Not Direct Energie but Magnus Cort of Orica-Scott, who looks to have taken it by a whisker. Couquard third.

     

  64. 16:25:38 CET

    Our preliminary top ten: 

    1 Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) Orica-Scott 3:49:03

    2 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits

    3 Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct Energie

    4 Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors

    5 Enrique Sanz Unzue (Spa) Spain

    6 Samuel Caldeira (Por) W52/FC Porto

    7 Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale

    8 Zakkari Dempster (Aus) Israel Cycling Academy

    9 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team

    10 Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin

  65. 16:27:07 CET

    Van Avermaet successfully defends his leader's jersey.

     

  66. 16:32:08 CET

    General classification after stage 3

    1 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 9:17:13

    2 Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing Team

    3 Manuel Senni (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:00:07

    4 David Lopez (Spa) Team Sky 0:00:28

    5 Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing Team 0:00:44

    6 David De La Cruz (Spa) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:48

    7 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:49

    8 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors 0:00

    9 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:54

    10 Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:56

     

  67. 16:36:41 CET

    Here's another look at how things went down today.

     

  68. 16:40:06 CET

    Direct Energie and Cofidis worked hardest in setting up the sprint. Cort didn't have the big lead-up train, but tagged along behind the others. He let Couquard and Bouhanni go, then turned on his power. Couquard got left behind, and once Cort took the lead Bouhanni was unable to catch him. 

     

  69. 16:50:22 CET

    Upon looking at the finish again, it seems that Bouhanni had to come from pretty far back and tried his best to get up to the front, but was unable to power his way past the very strong Cort.

     

  70. 17:01:20 CET

    Thanks for joining us today!

     

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