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Vuelta a Burgos Feminas: Vitillo edges Buijsman in photo finish to win stage 2

Matilde Vitillo (BePink) won stage 2 of the Vuelta a Burgos Féminas in the sprint of a breakaway of seven. They attacked early on the stage and held an advantage of up to seven minutes but lost ground in the exciting final, only saving seven seconds on the chasing peloton.

Vitillo launched her sprint out of the final turn with 250 metres to go and quickly gained an advantage. Nina Buijsman (Human Powered Health) came very close in the final metres, but Vitillo beat Buijsman in a photo finish, with Lara Vieceli (Ceratizit-WNT) finishing third. 

“This is a surprise, definitely a surprise,” said an overjoyed Vitillo at the finish. “I went in the breakaway to show myself on TV, but I certainly didn’t expect to win the stage.

"We went in the break after 40 km, and it was so hard because we were only seven. Better than yesterday when we were three, and I was with my teammate [Nora Jenčušová], she helped me so much. In the sprint, I gave all that I had and it went so well, it was crazy."

Tatiana Ducuara (Colombia Tierra de Atletas) did not lose any time on stage 1 and drove the breakaway in the final kilometre, taking the overall lead six seconds ahead of Lotte Kopecky (Team SD Worx).

“I am very surprised,” the new GC leader Ducuara said. “I want to thank my team, all my teammates, the staff, and all the sponsors who made this possible. Of course, now we want to defend the jersey. We will try our best, we have an excellent team, our riders are very strong, and we will fight to keep this jersey.”

How it unfolded

Hunting mountain points on the day’s two classified climbs, Vieceli attacked only a few minutes into the 128-kilometre stage together with Mieke Kröger (Human Powered Health), but their attempt was quickly neutralised.

Eventually, a group of seven riders that included Vitillo, Vieceli, Ducuara, Buijsman, Jenčušová, Aranza Villalón (Eneicat-RBH Global), and Maaike Coljé (Massi Tactic) broke away after 40 kilometres. Natalia Franco (WCC Team) and Catalina Soto (Bizkaia-Durango) tried to bridge to the front, as did Andrea Ramírez (Massi Tactic), but they never made it and were reeled in on the last 35 kilometres.

The peloton did not control the gap to the break, and the escapees’ advantage grew from just under five minutes with 60 km to go to seven minutes when the TV broadcast started at 44 km to go. Buijsman beat Vieceli to both third-category mountain sprints, but Vieceli’s points from stage 1 meant that she defended her mountain jersey. 

In the peloton, Marta Cavalli (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) had to abandon the race after a crash and was taken to hospital for examination.

On the second classified climb, the Alto de Humada cresting with 33.4 km, Canyon-SRAM took charge of the chase and reduced the gap to 4:22 minutes. With the breakaway feeling the efforts on a hot day, their advantage fell further to 2:30 minutes with 12 km to go when a small group of five riders including Emma Norsgaard (Movistar Team) and Grace Brown (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) briefly went off the front of the peloton before being reeled in.

Additional attacks from the peloton by Amanda Spratt (Team BikeExchange-Jayco), Brown, Kristen Faulkner (Team BikeExchange-Jayco), and Juliette Labous (Team DSM) and the resulting chases from the peloton kept the pace high and brought the gap down to only 30 seconds in the final two kilometres, but due to a long turn by Ducuara, the breakaway just made it to the finish ahead of the peloton.

Having lost the GC leader’s purple jersey, Kopecky will wear the green points jersey on stage 3. Norsgaard continues to lead the U23 classification and will wear the white jersey.

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