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Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana Stage 2 – Live coverage

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Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana: Groenewegen wins stage 1

Stage 2 result

1 Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 4:14:26

2 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar

3 Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-McLaren

4 Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-Up Nation

5 Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott

6 Ion Izagirre (Spa) Astana Pro Team

7 Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Fundacion-Orbea

8 Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team Ineos

9 Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Team Ineos

10 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC Team 0:00:05

General classification after stage 2

1 Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 8:22:09

2 Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott

3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar

4 Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Fundacion-Orbea

5 Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-McLaren

6 Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team Ineos

7 Ion Izagirre (Spa) Astana Pro Team

8 Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Team Ineos

9 Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-Up Nation

10 Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain-McLaren 0:00:02

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of stage 2 of the 2020 Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana.

We join the stage around midway through the action. There's a break around five minutes up the road, and the run-in to the hilltop finish is largely flat.

There are five men up the road at the moment. They are Remi Cavagna (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Jos van Emden (Jumbo-Visma), Alessandro De Marchi (CCC Team), and the Caja Rural-Seguros RGA duo of Alvaro Cuadros and Hector Saez.

Cuadros led the way over both of the second-category climbs so far at Dos Aguas and Alto Millares. He'll be the KOM leader tonight. It's largely flat from here on in.

93km remaining from 181km

The break are 4:45 up on the peloton at the moment.

Here's a look at the break of the day out on the road.

If you're looking for a way to watch the race, then check out our guide: How to watch the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana – live stream, TV, results

Today's stage should see the first of the race's two GC showdowns. The climb to the finish line is 2km long at an average of 8 per cent gradient.

Too tough for the sprinters then, so we should see the likes of Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-McLaren), Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) and Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) out front. 

82km remaining from 181km

The break's advantage has slimmed somewhat – it's 4:25 now.

As well as the GC contenders like Martin, Valverde and Pogačar, there are several other names in contention for today's stage.

Philippe Gilbert (Lotto Soudal) is here, as are Michał Kwiatkowski (Team Ineos) and Greg Van Avermaet (CCC Team).

Meanwhile, Marc Soler (Movistar) and Ion Izagirre (Astana) are among the other GC names who could show themselves at the finish.

The break is about to leave the lumpy first half of the stage behind and drop down to the long, flat run-in to the coastal town of Cullera.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Alejandro Valverde, who has won this race three times, looks like the man to beat this week. He spoke yesterday about his plans for the rest of the season – Olympic gold is the main aim – and confirmed his retirement at the end of 2021.

Read the full story here

A number of teams have put their men to work at the head of the peloton. Astana, Movistar, Lotto-Soudal, Bahrain McLaren and Jumbo-Visma all have riders up there. It's no surprise, given they all have a man capable of winning the stage, or – in Jumbo's case – have the race lead.

One intermediate sprint point remains on the course, coming in around 20km.

66km remaining from 181km

The break's advantage has fallen again slightly, down to 4:20.

Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) sprinted to victory on yesterday's opening stage to take his first win of 2020. The Dutchman edged out compatriot Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-QuickStep) on the line in Vila-Real.

Read our stage 1 report here

60km remaining from 181km

With 60km left to race, the gap is down to 4:10.

It's pretty much a pan flat road all the way to the uphill finish now.

After three hours of racing, the average speed is 41kph.

The break are closing in on the intermediate sprint now. The peloton is four minutes back.

Van Emden led the break over the sprint point, ahead of Saez and Cavagna.

46km remaining from 181km

The gap to the peloton dips under four minutes for the first time. Only just, though.

The peloton is strung out in a line now, as Astana and Bahrain push the pace.

38km remaining from 181km

The gap is coming down steadily now. There's 3:40 between the break and peloton.

The breakaway is a strong one, with specialist De Marchi joined by time trialist Van Emden, the always-attacking Cavagna, and the two Spaniards. Still, it'll be a big ask for them to stay away here.

Lotto Soudal are up front in the peloton, along with Astana and Bahrain.

The break's advantage is 3:30 now, and the peloton's progress seems to have slowed a little.

Astana team manager Alexandre Vinokourbv

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Our biggest news story of the day so far is Astana boss Alexander Vinokourov calling for CADF to conduct a full investigation into the leaked report that implicated Jakob Fuglsang, Alexey Lutsenko and banned doctor Michele Ferrari earlier this week.

Read the full story here

30km remaining from 181km

The five-man break are still all together, and they hit the 30km to go mark 3:10 up on the peloton.

Three minutes in 30 kilometres... That's bang on the old minute per 10km rule.

If it were a flat finish it would be touch and go (and it still might be), but you'd expect the break to get caught here.

26km remaining from 181km

2:44 for the break now.

The front of the peloton is all lined out as they seek to drag back the break.

Bahrain, Mitchelton-Scott, Ineos, Astana, Movistar – there are plenty of teams contributing to the chase now.

Their combined efforts are eating into the gap a bit more now. The gap is down to just over two minutes.

On these flat roads, the break is still working well together.

20km remaining from 181km

Under the 20km mark and the peloton is closing in fast. They're 1:40 down on the break now.

Cuadros has dropped back from the break now. His work for the day is done, and he'll weare the KOM jersey on the podium.

16km remaining from 181km

1:05 for the break now. It's almost certainly over for the quartet. Now it's just a case of who'll hang on the longest.

The riders are in Cullera now.  It's a winding and technical approach to the climb to the finish as they make their way through the town.

14km remaining from 181km

It's just 45 seconds for the leading four riders now.

Lotto, CCC, Bahrain, Mitchelton, Astana, QuickStep – it's still a colourful mix of teams at the head of the peloton.

Greg Van Avermaet (CCC Team), Philippe Gilbert (Lotto Soudal), Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Ion Izagirre (Astana), James Knox (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Pello Bilbao (Bahrain-McLaren), Michał Kwiatkowski (Team Ineos) – just some of the names to look out for on the 2km climb to the finish.

10km remaining from 181km

Just 20 seconds separate the break and peloton now.

Cavagna attacks the break.

The Frenchman won't stay away until the finish, but it's a final burst of glory for the QuickStep rider.

8km remaining from 181km

Cavagna's three breakmates have been caught.

Cavagna has a 20-second advantage as the riders follow the coast road.

6km remaining from 181km

Cavagna's advantage is under ten seconds now.

And now they head back into the town.

Tobias Foss (Jumbo-Visma) has gone down in the peloton. It looks like he's hit the floor shoulder first.

Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-QuickStep) was also involved there, it looks like.

5km remaining from 181km

Cavagna is still hanging out there. His advantage is still a small one.

4km remaining from 181km

And Cavagna is finally caught. Time for the GC men and puncheurs to fight on the final climb.

3km remaining from 181km

Mitchelton-Scott, Fundacion-Euskadi, Ineos and CCC all have trains up front on the wide road in the run-up to the climb.

And now Bahrain-McLaren take over.

2km remaining from 181km

The peloton hit the climb now!

It's 2km long, with an average gradient of 8 per cent. There are steeper sections though, of course.

Caja Rural's Gonzalo Serrano goes on the attack. He's got a nice gap pretty quickly.

He's caught the big names out here. Serrano is powering along maybe five seconds up.

1km remaining from 181km

This is a great effort by Serrano. He's still out there alone as he hits the flamme rouge.

Serrano looks to be struggling a little more now. The peloton is closing in.

He still has a couple of seconds, but doesn't look like he's going to make it today.

Ben Swift (Ineos) leads the reduced peloton back to Serrano.

Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates) has a go.

Ineos are on his case though. They have a couple of men up front.

Polanc is caught now.

Just a couple of hundred metres left.

Moscon goes!

Valverde, Pogacar and Teuns head to the front in the closing metres.

It's Pogacar vs Valverde for the line!

Pogačar wins it! It looked like Valverde had it in the bag around the final bend, but the young Slovenian powered past at the last.

Teuns took third and Dan Martin was fourth.

Jack Haig was fifth for Mitchelton-Scott.

Pogačar will be in the overall race lead after that win, of course.

Stage 2 result:

1 Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 4:14:26

2 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar

3 Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-McLaren

4 Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-Up Nation

5 Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott

6 Ion Izagirre (Spa) Astana Pro Team

7 Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Fundacion-Orbea

8 Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team Ineos

9 Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Team Ineos

10 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC Team 0:00:05

Pogačar said that the stage was good for him but that he didn't expect the win because he didn't know how his form would be after the long break from racing.

"I actually surprised myself today and I have to thank my teammates. They did a really good job, it was perfect.

"We will try to do everything to keep the jersey."

Our brief report from stage 2 is up here.

Keep checking back for the full version as well as full results and a gallery.

CULLERA SPAIN FEBRUARY 06 Arrival Tadej Pogacar of Slovenia and UAE Team Emirates Celebration Alejandro Valverde of Spain and Movistar Team Dylan Teuns of Belgium and Team BahrainMclaren during the 71st Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana 2020 Stage 2 a 181km stage from Torrent to Cullera 181m VueltaCV VCV2020 on February 06 2020 in Cullera Spain Photo by David RamosGetty Images

Pogacar takes the win on stage 2 (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Here's the top ten on GC after today's stage

1 Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 8:22:09

2 Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott

3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar

4 Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Fundacion-Orbea

5 Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-McLaren

6 Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team Ineos

7 Ion Izagirre (Spa) Astana Pro Team

8 Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Team Ineos

9 Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-Up Nation

10 Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain-McLaren 0:00:02

Pogačar also leads the youth classification, of course.

Here's a shot of Gonzalo Serrano's heroic effort earlier on the climb. He finished 33rd, 45 seconds down on Pogačar.

CULLERA SPAIN FEBRUARY 06 Gonzalo Serrano of Spain and Team Caja RuralSeguros RGA during the 71st Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana 2020 Stage 2 a 181km stage from Torrent to Cullera 181m VueltaCV VCV2020 on February 06 2020 in Cullera Spain Photo by David RamosGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Pogačar takes to the podium after his victory.

And that's all for our live coverage of stage 2 of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana. We'll have news and interviews from the race from out man on the ground, Al Fotheringham, coming through the evening, so be sure to check back for that.

Join us again tomorrow for more live coverage of stage 3, which should be one for the sprinters.

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