Stage 2: Alcalá de Guadaíra - Marbella
Highest point: 1,130m
Category: Road stage
A breakaway day
At most other races, this profile would almost guarantee a breakaway getting clear and staying clear. But this is the Vuelta, and a stage with just two cat 3 climbs this early in the race could still possibly be one for the sprinters. Today's ascents won't trouble anyone too much, especially not the climb out of Ronda, which is on a wide main road where the bunch should stay pretty much intact. That road continues all the way down to the coast and the descent rarely gets steep. This makes it possible for the sprinters' teams to get organised and try to catch the inevitable breakaway.
Andalucía hosts the first four stages of this race, which will give the regional Andalucía-Cajasur team plenty of motivation to show their colours. One of their riders is sure to feature in any break that gets clear, but don't expect any of them to contend for the win if it comes back together for a sprint. Look instead for one of the peloton's regular winners to feature here. The sprinters will all be aiming to score psychological points on their rivals too, with the sprint-friendly yet lumpy Worlds course in Melbourne on their minds.
Matt White says:
"This definitely won't be a sprint. They are going up to 1,200m from sea level, so that's a solid day in the office. You might even see the GC guys up there for this one. But I'd expect a breakaway to take this."
Latest on Cyclingnews
Old vs new: Is the Specialized Tarmac SL7 really better than the SL6?Is the Specialized Tarmac SL7 better than its predecessor?
Route d'Occitanie: Egan Bernal wins stage 3Team Ineos rider takes overall race lead on Col de Beyrède
Gorka Izagirre wins Gran Trittico LombardoAstana rider solos to victory in a torrential downpour
Latour looking for new motivation with Total Direct EnergieFrenchman explains why he is leaving AG2R La Mondiale after six seasons
Thank you for signing up to Cycling News. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.