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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


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

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.

82km remaining from 181km

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

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)

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

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.

60km remaining from 181km

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

38km remaining from 181km

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)

30km remaining from 181km

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

26km remaining from 181km

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

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

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

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

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

6km remaining from 181km

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

4km remaining from 181km

3km remaining from 181km

And now Bahrain-McLaren take over.

2km remaining from 181km

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

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:

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.

Our brief report from stage 2 is up here.

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

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.

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.

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