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Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol 2014: Stage 2


Hello and welcome to stage 2 from La Guardia de Jaén to Cabra

Alejandro Valverde won again yesterday, keeping himself in the leader's jersey. Here's how things stand after yesterday's stage

1 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 5:17:19

2 Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky 0:00:19

3 Luis León Sánchez (Spa) Caja Rural - Seguros RGA 0:00:21

4 Jon Izagirre (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:24

5 Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Trek Factory Racing 0:00:37

6 Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team 0:00:38 

7 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team 0:00:39

8 Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits

9 Davide Rebellin (Ita) CCC Polsat Polkowice 0:00:43

10 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:44  

76km remaining from 197km

We have seven riders in the break. They are Branislau Samoilau (CC Polsat), Andrey Zeits (Astana), Jordi Simón (Ecquador), Markel Irizar (Trek), Simon Geschke (Giant-Shimano), Tim Wellens (Lotto-Belisol) and Romain Zingle (Cofidis). They have a 3:37 gap over the peloton.

Today's stage is one for the climbers with the summit finish at Cabra. Can Valverde win his third straight stage? Sky's Richie Porte sits in second place and he'll be looking to nick the leader's jersey from the Spaniard.

We had six DNFs yesterday. The most notable of those is Marcel Kittel, who was favourite for tomorrow's stage

75km remaining from 197km

The gap to the escapees seems to have stalled at 3:42. Movistar won't want to give them too time, with Wellens and Zingle sitting 55 and 59 seconds, respectively, behind Valverde in the general classification.

There are two other races going on today. Peter Sagan claimed his first victory of the season at the Tour of Oman. Michal Kwiatkowski will be wearing the leader's jersey at the Volta ao Algarve, after his solo victory.

59km remaining from 197km

Movistar are doing much of thework on the front. The gap to the seven leaders has begun to come down and has dropped under the 3 minute mark. It now stands at 2:49.

There are grey clouds over the riders, with a few patches of sky. It is a relatively cold day for the peloton and plenty of arm warmers on show

56km remaining from 197km

Sky are happy to sit behind the Movistar train, conserving their energy for the final climb. Eros Capecchi is currently the rider setting the pace at the front of the peloton

Markel Irizar is the oldest member of the breakaway. In fact Trek Factory racing have the oldest team in the race. irizar's teammate Haimar Zubeldia says that he is looking for victory today.

53km remaining from 197km

The gap to the leaders comes down to 2:05. Movistar won't want to bring these seven riders in too early or they could waste energy managing more attacks.

50km remaining from 197km

Before the riders hit the foot of the final climb in Cabra, there is one more intermediate sprint with 44km to go

41km remaining from 197km

Movistar now seem content to let the leaders stay out there. After coming down very quickly, it has now levelled off at just over 2 minutes

Astana are also up near the front. Tanel Kangert is their best placed rider in sixth place, at 38 seconds behind Valverde in the general classification

Samoilau and Simon have been dropped by the break and are now back in the peloton. There are now only five riders up front.

No sightings of Belkin near the front of the peloton. Bauke Mollema finished second yesterday. He is currently 7th in the GC at 38 seconds. We can expect to see him up there at the finish today.

33km remaining from 197km

The final climb won't begin for around 15km, but there are still a lot of undulations for the riders to contend with before then

The pace set by Movistar is very high now and the peloton are strung out very thinly now. The gap to the leaders still sits at 2:09.

29km remaining from 197km

As the peloton nears the foot of the last climb, there is a lot a jostling for position between the teams. CCC Polsat and Cofidis moving up. Movistar still on the front.

26km remaining from 197km

Bradley Wiggins sitting in the middle of the Sky group. He was dropped near the finish yesterday. Will he stick around long enough to help his teammate Porte today.

24km remaining from 197km

The gap to the leaders continues to drop. The five men have 1:37 on the peloton. Cofidis rider Zingle is still up there, his teammate Daniel Navarro could be an outside bet today. Navarro finished in the top 10 at last year's Tour de France.

21km remaining from 197km

No teams offering up any assistance to Movistar. They haven't been off the front for almost the entire stage. They continue to set a high page and the gap now stands at 1:23.

MTN-Qhubeka can now be seen moving to the front. Sergio Pardilla is probably their best chance at a result today. The Spaniard finished third at this race in 2010, along with victory on the opening stage.

16km remaining from 197km

The pace has dropped a little as the road goes up and the peloton has bunched together. More teams are now moving to the front. 1:17 advantage to the leaders now

The peloton are now riding along at 55kph as they close down the remnants of the breakaway

13km remaining from 197km

The gap drops under 1 minute, as the riders wind through the town of Cabra.

12km remaining from 197km

The gap is falling very quickly, as Movistar continue to drive the peloton. 34 second for the escapees as they hit the climb proper

10km remaining from 197km

Bradley Wiggins takes to the front as the peloton catch the five leaders

Richie Porte sits second to last in the Sky train. Movistar are now the second team in peloton, with Polsat, Cofidis and Astana close behind

Luis Leon Sanchez has no team around him, but he is lurking near the front of the group next to race leader Alejandro Valverde

Sky's pace is having a drastic affect on the peloton numbers. Lots of riders now dropping off the back of the group. These last 9km will be a long one for them.

Wiggins is grimacing a lot as he sets the tempo of the peloton. There are still six Sky riders at the front, while Valverde has been reduced to two teammates.

7km remaining from 197km

Wiggins now swings off the front and leaves Edvald Boasson Hagen to do the pace setting. Valverde only has Jon Izagirre with him. Astana  still have a large contingent present.

As we've become accustomed to in the last few years, Sky's pace continues to shell riders out the back. Astana look to be moving up. They've got a number of strong riders in Michele Scarponi and Tanel Kangert still up front. Jakob Fuglsang has done his work and has dropped off.

5km remaining from 197km

No win today for Zubeldia, as he is dropped. Julian Arredondo will be their man at this finish

A very small peloton remain. Riders are now littered all the way down the climb. Vasil Kiryienka (Sky) is still setting the pace at the front

Yesterday's third place finisher Davide Rebellin slips back down the road. He won't be contenting this finale

3km remaining from 197km

Peter Kennaugh (Sky) pulling on the front with a very select group of riders behind him. Not long before the fireworks really start to happen.

Less than 20 riders in this lead group. Thomas Degand from Wanty has managed to keep touch with the leaders, as has Luis Leon Sánchez

Porte is sitting second man in the peloton with Valverde just behind him. Scarponi and Pardilla are near the front too, as the tension in the group begins to rise.

1km remaining from 197km

No attacks as the finish line comes ever closer. Thomas still setting a very high speed. Laurens Ten Dam is dropped, no Belkin riders in the front group now.

We're into the final kilometre and Thomas finally swings off

Porte now up on the pedals, trying to drop Valverde

Daniel Navarro has an attack, but Valverde has his number

A little bit of mental chess going on. Navarro, Valverde, Scarponi and Porte leade

Navarro keeps having a dig ont he front, but he can't drop his companions. Valverde looks in crontrol here and he attacks

Valverde wins again.

Valverde keeps hold of his leader's jersey with his third consecutive victory of the the race. Luis Leon Sanchez managed to hang on for second with Navarro finishing third

That's it for today. See you again for stage 3 of the Vuelta a Andalucia

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