Volta a Catalunya: Movistar powers to team time trial victory

Alejandro Valverde and his Movistar team put in a winning display on stage 2 of the Volta a Catalunya, taking the 43.1 kilometre team time trial from Pla de l'Estany to Banyoles in a time of 48:55.

The Spanish team finished two seconds clear of BMC Racing, with Chris Froome and Team Sky in third, 46 seconds down. The win was not without controversy with Valverde's teammate, Jose Rojas, first stripped of the leader's jersey after he was docked time for taking a push during the stage. Rojas had crossed the line at the front of the Movistar team and conducted both podium celebrations and television interviews before race judges intervened and docked the Spanish rider three minutes.

In an emergency meeting with the UCI commissaires, the jury then late in the evening imposed a one minute penalty on the entire Movistar squad after a protest by BMC, awarding the race lead to Ben Hermans.

The distance of the stage and the undulating parcours caused significant gaps in the overall standings. Alberto Contador and Trek-Segafredo limited their losses well to finish fourth at 1:15, but Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale), Dan Martin (Quick-Step Floors) and Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) lost more than two minutes, and with that any likely hopes of finishing on the podium.

Movistar were among the latter teams to start the stage, and it was Contador's Trek-Segafredo unit that set the early pace with a respectable time of 50:10. The Spaniard, still searching for his maiden win in Trek colours, marshalled his troops well enough and they looked on course for a podium spot until Team Sky and Movistar came through the finish.

There was little surprise when BMC overturned Trek's lead at both the intermediate and finish line time checks. The American squad may have been lacking some of their time trial depth, but with Rohan Dennis, Tejay van Garderen, and the reliability of Samuel Sanchez, Ben Hermans and Brent Bookwalter, they were always going to be the team to beat. They cut through technical sections with ease as Marco Pinotti – an expert at measuring efforts on such a course – orchestrated their ride. The red and black train looked impressive, even if they started to come apart briefly towards the end. They finished with their full contingent of eight riders, although several teams were still to finish.

Team Sky, looking to put a shambolic team time trial at Tirreno Adriatico behind them, welcomed Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas and Mikel Landa into the fold. This was the first time that all three had raced together since last year's Tour de France, with the team publicly backing the Welshman to lead their efforts here in Spain. That looked like a justified call when Landa was unceremoniously dropped during the second half of the race. Until that moment, Team Sky were one second ahead of Trek at the intermediate but 23 seconds down on the rampaging BMC.

The second half of the course was a battle of attrition, experience and, most importantly, will. Valverde, bouncing back from an illness that ruled him out of Paris-Nice, took a number of long turns on the front with Jonathan Castroviejo reminding everyone of his all-round class against the clock.

Coming into the final twists and turns it looked as though BMC would hold on take a narrow victory, but the Spanish WorldTour team would not be denied.

However, talk of unrest resulting from Movistar's ride began to surface soon after the finish. BMC Racing riders posted video footage of the Spanish team breaking UCI rules as Rojas was caught pushing Nelson Oliveira and Andrey Amador, on a climb midway through the race. Oliveira and Amador were also penalised one and two minutes, respectively, but Valverde escaped punishment despite UCI rules indicating that all riders on the team should have faced a one-minute penalty.

The overall picture

With such a long test against the clock coming so soon in the race, time gaps were always going to open up in the GC standings. Today's result has both opened up and closed off opportunities for several teams and riders.

The win puts Movistar in control, and they will be expected to set the pace on a difficult stage 3. The margin Valverde has over BMC's van Garderen and Dennis will be one of the most intriguing elements in the race. Dennis finished second in Tirreno, while van Garderen is struggling for form. Although the American is at this stage heading to the Giro as the captain of BMC, with Dennis as an understudy, another unflattering result could alter BMC's mind.

Both Thomas and Froome will rue the time conceded to Valverde, but having put time into Contador and a number of other GC contenders, they will see today's stage as mixed result.

*Update: Overnight the race jury chose to hand a one-minute penalty to the entire Movistar team, demoting them to third place on the day. The results have been amended accordingly.  

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1BMC Racing Team48:57:00
2Team Sky0:00:44
3Movistar Team0:00:58
4Trek-Segafredo0:01:15
5Orica-Scott0:01:24
6FDJ0:01:44
7Team Lotto NL-Jumbo0:01:48
8Astana Pro Team0:02:05
9Lotto Soudal0:02:10
10Quick-Step Floors0:02:13
11AG2R La Mondiale0:02:15
12Bora-Hansgrohe0:02:27
13CCC Sprandi Polkowice0:02:37
14Team Katusha Alpecin0:02:48
15UAE Team Emirates0:02:58
16Team Sunweb0:03:04
17Bahrain-Merida0:03:26
18Cannondale Drapac Professional Cycling Team0:03:30
19Team Dimension Data0:03:31
20Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij0:03:45
21Wanty-Groupe Gobert0:04:04
22Manzana Postobon Team0:04:24
23Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:04:27
24Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:04:36
25Soul Brasil Pro Cycling Team0:05:19
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General Classification after stage 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing Team5:17:18
2Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 1 - Cell 2
3Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 2 - Cell 2
4Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing TeamRow 3 - Cell 2
5Kilian Frankiny (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 4 - Cell 2
6Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 5 - Cell 2
7Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing TeamRow 6 - Cell 2
8Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky0:00:44
9Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Team SkyRow 8 - Cell 2
10Mikel Nieve (Spa) Team SkyRow 9 - Cell 2
11Philip Deignan (Irl) Team SkyRow 10 - Cell 2
12Mikel Landa (Spa) Team SkyRow 11 - Cell 2
13Christopher Froome (GBr) Team SkyRow 12 - Cell 2
14Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Team Sky0:00:47
15Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team0:00:58
16Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 15 - Cell 2
17Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 16 - Cell 2
18Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 17 - Cell 2
19Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 18 - Cell 2
20Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar Team0:01:00
21Michael Gogl (Aut) Trek-Segafredo0:01:15
22Alberto Contador (Spa) Trek-SegafredoRow 21 - Cell 2
23Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-SegafredoRow 22 - Cell 2
24Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Trek-SegafredoRow 23 - Cell 2
25Jarlinson Pantano (Col) Trek-SegafredoRow 24 - Cell 2
26Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-Scott0:01:24
27Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-ScottRow 26 - Cell 2
28Damien Howson (Aus) Orica-ScottRow 27 - Cell 2
29Sam Bewley (NZl) Orica-ScottRow 28 - Cell 2
30Carlos Verona (Spa) Orica-ScottRow 29 - Cell 2
31Ruben Plaza (Spa) Orica-Scott0:01:33
32Davide Cimolai (Ita) FDJ0:01:34
33JŽrŽmy Maison (Fra) FDJ0:01:44
34David Gaudu (Fra) FDJRow 33 - Cell 2
35Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJRow 34 - Cell 2
36LŽo Vincent (Fra) FDJRow 35 - Cell 2
37Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) FDJRow 36 - Cell 2
38Benoit Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJ0:01:45
39Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:01:48
40George Bennett (NZl) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 39 - Cell 2
41Stef Clement (Ned) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 40 - Cell 2
42Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 41 - Cell 2
43Alexey Vermeulen (USA) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 42 - Cell 2
44Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJRow 43 - Cell 2
45Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team0:02:00
46Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:02:05
47Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro TeamRow 46 - Cell 2
48Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Astana Pro TeamRow 47 - Cell 2
49Jesper Hansen (Den) Astana Pro TeamRow 48 - Cell 2
50Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro TeamRow 49 - Cell 2
51AndrŽ Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal0:02:10
52Rafael Valls (Spa) Lotto SoudalRow 51 - Cell 2
53Louis Vervaeke (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 52 - Cell 2
54Petr Vakoc (Cze) Quick-Step Floors0:02:13
55Pieter Serry (Bel) Quick-Step FloorsRow 54 - Cell 2
56Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Quick-Step FloorsRow 55 - Cell 2
57Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step FloorsRow 56 - Cell 2
58Laurens De Plus (Bel) Quick-Step FloorsRow 57 - Cell 2
59Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step FloorsRow 58 - Cell 2
60Pierre Roger Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:02:15
61Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 60 - Cell 2
62Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La MondialeRow 61 - Cell 2
63Jay McCarthy (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe0:02:27
64Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Bora-HansgroheRow 63 - Cell 2
65Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-HansgroheRow 64 - Cell 2
66Jan B‡rta (Cze) Bora-HansgroheRow 65 - Cell 2
67JosŽ Mendes (Por) Bora-HansgroheRow 66 - Cell 2
68Felix Gro§schartner (Aut) CCC Sprandi Polkowice0:02:37
69Maciej Paterski (Pol) CCC Sprandi PolkowiceRow 68 - Cell 2
70Leszek Plucinski (Pol) CCC Sprandi PolkowiceRow 69 - Cell 2
71Jan Hirt (Cze) CCC Sprandi PolkowiceRow 70 - Cell 2
72Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin0:02:48
73Rein TaaramŠe (Est) Katusha-AlpecinRow 72 - Cell 2
74JosŽ Gonalves (Por) Katusha-AlpecinRow 73 - Cell 2
75Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) Katusha-AlpecinRow 74 - Cell 2
76Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Katusha-AlpecinRow 75 - Cell 2
77Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:02:51
78Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:02:53
79Darwin Atapuma (Col) Team UAE Abu Dhabi0:02:58
80Anass Ait El Abdia (Mor) Team UAE Abu DhabiRow 79 - Cell 2
81Kristijan Durasek (Cro) Team UAE Abu DhabiRow 80 - Cell 2
82Louis Meintjes (RSA) Team UAE Abu DhabiRow 81 - Cell 2
83Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Team UAE Abu DhabiRow 82 - Cell 2
84Jose Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team0:03:00
85Sindre Skj¿stad Lunke (Nor) Team Sunweb0:03:04
86Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Team SunwebRow 85 - Cell 2
87Chris Hamilton (Aus) Team SunwebRow 86 - Cell 2
88Valerio Conti (Ita) Team UAE Abu Dhabi0:03:05
89Matteo Bono (Ita) Team UAE Abu Dhabi0:03:12
90Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:03:26
91Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Bahrain-MeridaRow 90 - Cell 2
92Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Bahrain-MeridaRow 91 - Cell 2
93Ondrej Cink (Cze) Bahrain-MeridaRow 92 - Cell 2
94Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) Bahrain-MeridaRow 93 - Cell 2
95Domen Novak (Slo) Bahrain-MeridaRow 94 - Cell 2
96Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Dimension Data0:03:27
97Davide Villella (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac0:03:30
98Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-DrapacRow 97 - Cell 2
99Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-DrapacRow 98 - Cell 2
100Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale-DrapacRow 99 - Cell 2
101Hugh Carthy (GBr) Cannondale-DrapacRow 100 - Cell 2
102Natnael Berhane (Eri) Dimension Data0:03:31
103Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension DataRow 102 - Cell 2
104Mekseb Debesay (Eri) Dimension DataRow 103 - Cell 2
105Ben O'Connor (Aus) Dimension DataRow 104 - Cell 2
106Lachlan Morton (Aus) Dimension DataRow 105 - Cell 2
107Joey Rosskopf (USA) BMC Racing Team0:03:32
108Martijn Tusveld (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij0:03:45
109Nick Van Der Lijke (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse LoterijRow 108 - Cell 2
110Oscar Riesebeek (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse LoterijRow 109 - Cell 2
111Etienne Van Empel (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse LoterijRow 110 - Cell 2
112Martijn Budding (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse LoterijRow 111 - Cell 2
113Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:03:56
114Dion Smith (NZl) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:04:04
115Guillaume Levarlet (Fra) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 114 - Cell 2
116Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 115 - Cell 2
117Fabien Doubey (Fra) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 116 - Cell 2
118Thomas Degand (Bel) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 117 - Cell 2
119Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 118 - Cell 2
120Marco Minnaard (Ned) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 119 - Cell 2
121Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Team Sunweb0:04:11
122Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:04:21
123Jetse Bol (Ned) Manzana Postobon0:04:24
124Ricardo Vilela (Por) Manzana PostobonRow 123 - Cell 2
125Juan Felipe Osorio (Col) Manzana PostobonRow 124 - Cell 2
126Aldemar Reyes (Col) Manzana PostobonRow 125 - Cell 2
127Hernan Aguirre (Col) Manzana PostobonRow 126 - Cell 2
128Hernando Bohorquez (Col) Manzana Postobon0:04:26
129Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:04:27
130Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 129 - Cell 2
131StŽphane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 130 - Cell 2
132Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 131 - Cell 2
133Daniel Navarro (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 132 - Cell 2
134Lukasz Owsian (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice0:04:34
135Eduard Prades (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:04:36
136Nicholas Schultz (Aus) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 135 - Cell 2
137Sergio Pardilla (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 136 - Cell 2
138Diego Rubio (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 137 - Cell 2
139Antonio Molina (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 138 - Cell 2
140Luis Mas (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 139 - Cell 2
141Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:04:44
142Cyril Gautier (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 141 - Cell 2
143Svein Tuft (Can) Orica-Scott0:05:03
144Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe0:05:15
145Jordi Simon (Spa) Soul Brasil Pro Cycling Team0:05:19
146Caio Godoy (Bra) Soul Brasil Pro Cycling TeamRow 145 - Cell 2
147Diego Rosa (Ita) Team Sky0:05:28
148Jeroen Meijers (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij0:05:32
149Sean De Bie (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:05:39
150Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:05:40
151Markel Irizar (Spa) Trek-Segafredo0:05:48
152Peter Stetina (USA) Trek-Segafredo0:05:53
153Piotr Brozyna (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice0:06:07
154Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:06:31
155çngel Vicioso (Spa) Katusha-Alpecin0:06:59
156Brendan Canty (Aus) Cannondale-Drapac0:07:00
157Nathan Haas (Aus) Dimension Data0:07:01
158Manuele Mori (Ita) Team UAE Abu DhabiRow 157 - Cell 2
159Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Quick-Step Floors0:07:03
160RŽmi Cavagna (Fra) Quick-Step Floors0:07:11
161Alex Howes (USA) Cannondale-Drapac0:07:26
162Daniel Teklehaimanot (Eri) Dimension DataRow 161 - Cell 2
163Alexander EDMONSON0:07:30
164Franois Bidard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:07:34
165Murilo Affonso (Bra) Soul Brasil Pro Cycling Team0:08:44
166Magno Prado Nazaret (Bra) Soul Brasil Pro Cycling Team0:08:49
167Tiago Machado (Por) Katusha-Alpecin0:09:00
168Pierre Rolland (Fra) Cannondale-Drapac0:09:10
169Artyom Zakharov (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:09:13
170Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:09:19
171Pieter Weening (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij0:10:42
172Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:10:56
173Silvio Herklotz (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe0:10:58
174Matthias BrŠndle (Aut) Trek-Segafredo0:12:08
175Martijn Keizer (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:12:20
176Daniil Fominykh (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:12:58
177Maxim Belkov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin0:13:05
178Alexandre Geniez (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:13:08
179Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:13:25
180Patryk Stosz (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice0:13:30
181Lennard KŠmna (Ger) Team Sunweb0:13:53
182Johannes Fršhlinger (Ger) Team Sunweb0:13:57
183Max Walscheid (Ger) Team SunwebRow 182 - Cell 2
184Chad Haga (USA) Team Sunweb0:14:03
185Tim Ariesen (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij0:14:38
186Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:14:57
187Jonas Van Genechten (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:15:20
188Antonio Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:16:28
189Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe0:18:21
190Mateusz Taciak (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice0:21:19
191Hector Saez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:21:39
192Gabriel Machado (Bra) Soul Brasil Pro Cycling Team