Welcome to live coverage of stage 2 of the Volta a Catalyunya. Today's feast is a 41.3km team time trial.
Good afternoon. The first teams are already underway on this toughest of team time trials. The weather was good this morning but it has turned a bit as the day has gone on and there is a threat of rain in the air, so I hope you've brought your brollies.
There is three minutes between each of the teams with Trek-Segafredo the latest to roll down the start ramp. After Davide Cimolai won yesterday's stage, FDJ has earned the honour of being the final team to get underway. You can find the full start list for today's stage here.
We can probably expect the first teams to be completing their runs in about 30 minutes. It's going to be a challenging day out there with a twisting and technical start to the day followed by a more straightforward ride over the second half of the day.
Today could be a crucial day for the general classification with several riders likely to have their hopes dashed by the results. Most of the peloton is on 10 seconds behind the race leader Cimolai, meaning that it is all up for grabs for the leader's jersey. This is how the top 10 looks this morning.
1 Davide Cimolai (Ita) FDJ 4:28:11
2 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:00:04
3 Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Dimension Data 0:00:06
4 Dion Smith (NZl) Wanty - Groupe Gobert 0:00:10
5 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal
6 Jose Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team
7 Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-Scott
8 Petr Vakoc (Cze) Quick-Step Floors
9 Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Team Sunweb
10 Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
Team Sky are getting ready for their run. They'll be hoping for much better luck than they had in Tirreno-Adriatico where they suffered several wheel failures. The rain has begun to fall though. It's just a few spots but that could hamper a few runs today.
BMC is the eighth team off the start ramp and its UAE Team Emirates up next. The rain started just as BMC began their run. Can they escape the worst of it and what will that do to their time? They've got a very strong TTT squad here. .
21 Samuel Sanchez (Spa)
22 Rohan Dennis (Aus)
23 Tejay van Garderen (USA)
24 Ben Hermans (Bel)
25 Brent Bookwalter (USA)
26 Joey Rosskopf (USA)
27 Alessandro De Marchi (Ita)
28 Killian Frankiny (Swi)
@TeamCOFIDIS Tue, 21st Mar 2017 14:18:23
This is a team time trial unlike any other today. Away from the world championships, there hasn't been one like this in a long time. In fact, it's the longest TTT at the Volta a Catalunya since 1963. That was 42km and it was won by the Margnat-Paloma squad. Cyclingnews' Alasdair Fotheringham spoke to Team Sky DS Nicolas Portal about today's stage and you can read what he had to say here.
We're zipping through the teams right now and already more than half the teams are underway. AG2R La Mondiale has just left the start ramp. Today is likely to be about damage limitation for them.
Just 13 more teams to start, including Team Sky, Sunweb, Bora-Hansgrohe, Movistar, Quick-Step, Orica-Scott and FDJ.
A time check at the second intermediate split has Trek-Segafredo the quickest team with a time of 26:50, while Cannondale are in second at the moment after stopping the clock at 28:19.
Katusha has gone through the second time check in second place with a time of 27:56. Still more than a minute behind Trek. It shouldn't be long now before the first teams come over the finish line.
@petercossins Tue, 21st Mar 2017 14:36:14
Astana has now stuck themselves into second place at the intermediate check with a time of 27:36.
BMC is putting in a flyer at the moment and sets a new quickest time at the intermediate check. They've stopped the clock at 26:26, some 24 seconds quicker than Trek-Segafredo.
@BMCProTeam Tue, 21st Mar 2017 14:45:30
Soul Brasil has just completed their effort with a time of 54:14. We can expect that not to last very long.
Trek-Segafredo finishes and demolishes the time set by Soul Brasil, setting a new best time of 50:10.
BMC not looking as slick at they could be. They've got a full complement of riders for now.
Movistar getting ready on the start ramp. They've a strong line up too with Jonathan Castroviejo in there.
1 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa)
2 Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa)
3 Andrey Amador Bikkazakova (Crc)
4 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa)
5 Rubén Fernandez (Spa)
6 Imanol Erviti Ollo (Spa)
7 Nelson Oliveira (Por)
8 Marc Soler (Spa)
LottoNL-Jumbo and AG2R La Mondiale have both gone through the intermediate check. Lotto has done a 27:22 and AG2R a 27:27.
BMC is the new fastest team by a large margin. They do a time of 48:57, considerably faster than Trek-Segafredo. They have really set the benchmark with that time.
FDJ are on the start ramp and they are the last team of the day to get going.
As well as Catalunya, the Classics are also rumbling in to action again this week with Dwars door Vlaanderen, E3 Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem. Greg Van Avermaet will be racing at the latter two events as he hopes to finally win the Tour of Flanders. He spoke to the press ahead of the weekend's action and you can ready what he had to say here.
Movistar is looking very good at the moment, certainly very smooth. However, we have to wait and see what they can do at the intermediate check in about 10 minutes' time.
Mikel Landa is struggling and he's been distanced by the rest of his teammates. He has to battle hard to try and bridge the gap. Team Sky has said that Geraint Thomas is the team leader here.
This is what the top 3 looks like at the moment.
1 BMC Racing 00:48:57
2 Trek-Segafredo 00:50:10
3 LottoNL-Jumbo 00:50:43
Team Sky are approaching the finish line and they blast past a straggling CCC Sprandi rider who is ploughing a lonely furrow at the moment.
AG2R La Mondiale came in a little earlier and they went fifth fastest with a time of 51:10.
A disappointing time for Team Sunweb as they stop the clock at 51:59.
Team Sky manages to get in under the 50 minute mark and go seconds fastest behind BMC.
With Team Sky done we have just 10 more teams to finish. This is how the top 5 stands at the moment.
1 BMC Racing 00:48:57
2 Team Sky 00:49:41
3 Trek-Segafredo 00:50:10
4 LottoNL-Jumbo 00:50:43
5 Astana Pro Team 00:51:00
Quick-Step Floors go 27:28 at the intermediate split but it is Movistar that is really flying at they go 26:17, which is the fastest time so far.
The fast pace of Movistar is creating victims. Rojas loses contact briefly and has to chase back on.
Movistar about to catch and pass Roompot. Movistar trying to get past them without losing too much time.
For a brief moment, Roompot are chasing the tail of the Movistar train. They won't be allowed to stay there too long though, not that they'll be able to keep up.
A commissaire car comes up and checks to make sure that Roompot is not using the slipstream of Movistar and they back off a little bit.
@Cyclingnewsfeed Tue, 21st Mar 2017 15:32:41
Orica-Scott finishes the course in a time of 50:19, which is enough for fourth fastest.
The new top 5 looks like this. BMC have really given themselves a solid head start going into the mountains later in the week.
1 BMC Racing 00:48:57
2 Team Sky 00:49:41
3 Trek-Segafredo 00:50:10
4 Orica-Scott 00:50:19
5 LottoNL-Jumbo 00:50:43
Movistar coming to the line. They've still got all of their riders but Marc Soler is struggling.
It's a very technical finish with several roundabouts to test the tired minds.
Movistar edges out BMC on the line by just two seconds. That was close!
That has put Valverde into a great position now. He is likely to be stronger than Tejay van Garderen in the mountains, although it will be interesting to see what Ben Hermans can do for BMC.
A replay shows that Valverde was the first to cross the line, meaning that he will be in the race lead this evening.
FDJ complete the team time trial with a 50:39 and that makes them sixth quickest. It's not enough to keep hold of the race lead though.
JJ Rojas will be in the race lead this evening but Alejandro Valverde is sitting pretty near the top of the standings. BMC was the only team to get anywhere near Movistar at two seconds behind while Team Sky was 46 seconds back.
This is what things look like at the top of the standings after today's stage:
1 Jose Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team 5:17:16
2 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team
3 Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team
4 Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Movistar Team
5 Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar Team
6 Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar Team
7 Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team
8 Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar Team
9 Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:02
10 Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing Team
Brent Bookwalter of the BMC team appears to be unhappy with something that went on during the stage. He points to regulations saying that riders from the same team cannot push each other. Tejay van Garderen has also tweeted "Pushing riders in a TTT is not allowed. C'mon Movistar!!"
It seems like BMC may file a complaint against Movistar but we will have to wait and see what comes of it.
Meanwhile, Movistar has been up to the podium to collect the plaudits.
@TheRaceRadio Tue, 21st Mar 2017 16:11:38
Full results from today's stage can be found here. We will also have all the reaction and an update on BMC's complaint later.
@tejay_van Tue, 21st Mar 2017 16:35:09
We're hearing rumours that some of the Movistar riders have indeed been handed punishments. Rojas has been given a three-minute penalty while Amador has a two-minute one and Oliveira one minute.
We have some busy squirrels doing all the calculations in order to sort out the new standings after that. It seems that Alejandro Valverde is now the new overall leader.
The way in which the punishment has been handed out to each rider appears to be a little strange. The UCI's regulations state that in a normal race is would result in the elimination of the whole team, while in a stage race it would mean a 1 minute penalty for each rider in the team.
Read more on the unfolding issue with Movistar and the pushing. We'll try to keep you updated as more information arises.
I'm afraid we're still working on those results at the moment. It appears the ones that we've been given by the organisers has some erroneous calculations in it. We will get the full results to you as soon as we can.
Finally, after a long wait we have our results. And they're correct this time.
1 Movistar Team 0:48:55
2 BMC Racing Team 0:00:02
3 Team Sky 0:00:46
4 Trek-Segafredo 0:01:15
5 Orica-Scott 0:01:24
6 FDJ 0:01:44
7 Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:01:48
8 Astana Pro Team 0:02:05
9 Lotto Soudal 0:02:10
10 Quick-Step Floors 0:02:13
General classification after stage 2
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 5:17:16
2 Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Movistar Team
3 Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar Team
4 Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team
5 Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar Team
6 Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:00:02
7 Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team
8 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team
9 Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team
10 Kilian Frankiny (Swi) BMC Racing Team
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