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Vuelta a España 2015: Stage 2

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It's day two of the Vuelta a Espana but today sees the first summit finish of the race at Caminito del Rey. Take a look at our extensive preview of today's stage to see what lies ahead of the riders. 

Today's stage will get underway in a little over 20 minutes. After yesterday's neutralisation, the winner of today's stage will also be the new wearer of the red jersey. 

 

This is what the riders will face today. 

 

 

Five years on from finishing second overall at the Vuelta, it is Peter Velits that is in the red jersey after his BMC team won the opening team time trial. Read what he had to say here. 

 

It's another warm day for the riders in the south of Spain with the temperatures hitting 28. There is a bit of a wind, which should help cool them down. 

 

Tinkoff-Saxo were pipped by BMC to the top spot. Read their reaction here and watch on-board footage of their recon.

 

Team Sky: the big mountain tests in the Vuelta a Espana’s second week http://t.co/oN1ryGvwIM http://t.co/kl3M7zZXsW

@Cyclingnewsfeed Sun, 23rd Aug 2015 11:26:38

The riders are on their way through the neutralised section. Racing proper will begin any minute now. 

 

It was a very tight run thing yesterday with BMC beating Tinkoff-Saxo by 0.01 of a second. You can read the full report here with a gallery from the picturesque course. Here is a quick luck at the top 10 from yesterday's stage.

 

1 BMC Racing Team 0:08:10
2 Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:01
3 Orica GreenEdge
4 Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:00:08
5 Etixx - Quick-Step 0:00:10
6 Trek Factory Racing 0:00:11
7 Lotto-Soudal 0:00:18
8 Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
9 Movistar 0:00:24
10 Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:00:27

 

154km remaining from 158km

There have been a few early attacks but nothing has stuck. Joaquim Rodríguez has suffered a puncture.

 

The attacks continue to come off the front of the peloton but nothing has stuck just yet. It's a short day today so the peloton are being cautious. 

 

With the summit finish, we may see some of the GC riders testing out their rivals as we did on the Mur de Huy during the Tour de France. Take a look at our top 10 GC riders to watch right here. 

 

140km remaining from 158km

Bad news for IAM Cycling with Matteo Pelucchi already struggling at the back. Today is not a day for him but this is not a good sign so early on. 

 

After 21 kilometres of racing it's still gruppo compatto. This is a quick start to the second stage. 

 

133km remaining from 158km

We've finally got an escape out front after 25 kilometres of racing. There are six men out front with a 2:15 gap and we'll bring you their names in a moment.

 

The men in the escape group are: Przemyslaw Niemiec (Lampre-Merida), Davide Villella (Cannondale-Garmin), Walter Pedraza (Team Colombia), Bert Jan Lindeman (LottoNL-Jumbo), José Gonçalves (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Matteo Montaguti (Ag2r-La Mondiale).

 

 Susan stepping in to take over live for a few minutes. 2:15 for the break group now.

128km remaining from 158km

 Looks like the peloton is happy with this group. They now have a gap of 3:40 after only 30 km.

We mentioned earlier that Penuchi was at the back of the field. We now hear he crashed and made a visit to the race doctor and is now sporting a dashing gauze bandage on his left arm.

 

 It's Sadhbh taking the helm again and the six leaders are making their way over a small uncategorised climb. The gap remains around 3:20 with Movistar at the front of the bunch. 

This break has winning pedigree. Przemyslaw Niemiec won a stage of the Vuelta a Espana last season, taking the uphill finish to Lagos de Covadonga. He is the only rider in this break to have done so.

 

This break has winning pedigree. Przemyslaw Niemiec won a stage of the Vuelta a Espana last season, taking the uphill finish to Lagos de Covadonga. He is the only rider in this break to have done so.

 

24-year-old Davide Villella is making his Vuelta debut. It's his second Grand Tour of the year, after already riding the Giro d'Italia earlier this season. The young Italian is in his second season as a professional. 

108km remaining from 158km

After 50 kilometres ridden, the gap is coming down and te six escapees have just 2:50 on the bunch. 

 

More news about Matteo Pelucchi and the Italian has abandoned after his early crash. He is the first rider to leave this year's Vuelta a Espana. 

 

The gap is stretching out once again and is back up to 3:12 as the distance remaining drops below 100 kilometres. The riders are on a flattish stretch of road there are a few undulations before they hit the first categorised climb in just under 50km. 

 

There is other racing going on today and Jolien d'Hoore won the latest round of the women's World Cup in Sweden. She also took the lead in the WC standings after Lizzie Armitstead was caught behind a crash. 

 

A crash in the peloton and Andrew Talansky, Zico Waeynants and David Tanner have all gone down. They're back on their bike though, which is good news. 

 

At 31, Matteo Montaguti is one of the more experienced riders in this leading group. This is his 10th Grand Tour start and his second this year. He's been with AG2R-La Mondiale since 2011 and his best season to day came in 2012 where he won the mountains classification at the Tour de Suisse and Criterium International. 

 

If you haven't had a chance, read Alasdair Fotheringham's preview of today's stage that perfectly sets the scene for today's tricky and spectacular finish. 

 

86km remaining from 158km

The six escapees still dangle a touch over three minutes ahead of the peloton and we're nearing the halfway distance on today's stage. 

 

The official website reports that Geraint Thomas is a little under the weather. We spoke to Thomas earlier this week and he said that his form wasn't at its best going into the race. 

 

Movistar remain on the front of the peloton and the gap is down to 3:00. They're keen today. Their man Alejandro Valverde is a big favourite for the stage win.

 

Look who we found along the parcours of the 2nd stage of #LV2015. @ElkeBleyaert & her dad cheering on @Jasperstuyven http://t.co/lclX8DcGfC

@TrekFactory Sun, 23rd Aug 2015 13:37:43

We'll take a look again at the riders out front and this time it's José Gonçalves, who is making his Grand Tour debut. The 26-year-old turned professional with Caja Rural this season and rewarded them almost immediately with a stage win at the Volta a Portugal. 

 

The average speed over the second hour of racing was 40.3kph and Movistar continue to hammer it on the front. 

 

We mentioned Alejandro Valverde earlier on as a stage favourite and Dan Martin is another contender for the stage win today. He spoke to Lavuelta.com this morning and said:

 

"On paper it's a stage that would suit me well with a finale that I like. But I don't know if my form will be good enough. For me today, the favourites will be Fabio Aru or Daniel Moreno, riders who have not done the Tour and prepared especially for this."

 

70km remaining from 158km

The gap continues to come down to the six escapees. They have just 2:40 as they pass through the feed zone. 

 

Twitter user Mikkel Conde reports that several team buses went the wrong way around the course and now there is a serious traffic jam about 6km from the finish. 

 

65km remaining from 158km

Movistar still have almost their entire team on the front with one Katusha rider giving a little assistance. The gap is still three minutes but that's going to come down quickly when they hit this first climb. 

 

Back in the break and Bert-Jan Lindeman. He's making his return to the WorldTour this year after a season spent with the Rabobank Development team following the collapse of the Vacansoleil team.  

 

We've finally had a visual on the break and it seems the Lampre-Merida rider is not Przemyslaw Niemiec but Nelson Oliviera. The confusion is as Oliviera is wearing 107, which Niemiec was meant to be wearing. Oliviera is a former Portuguese national road champion and is the current time trial champion.

 

Andre Greipel wins the Vattenfall Cyclassics over Kristoff, Nizzolo http://t.co/EdMiv2fSLT http://t.co/9ziV7l59dK

@Cyclingnewsfeed Sun, 23rd Aug 2015 14:15:18

50km remaining from 158km

As the gap comes down to just over two minutes for the six escapees, let's take a look at our final member of the escape group Walter Pedraza. The 33-year-old joined the Colombia team this season. He's made one previous appearance at the Vuelta back in 2008 when he rode for Tinkoff Credit Systems. He is a former national road champion.

 

The breakaway is on the first climb of the Alto de Ardeles. The 5km ascent averages 4.4 per cent and the mountains classification is potentially up for grabs.

 

A reminder of the six men out front they are Davide Villella, Walter Pedrazo, Bert-Jan Lindeman, Jose Gonçalves, Matteo Montaguti and Nelson Oliviera.

 

Pedraza attacks near the top of the climb to take the points at the top. There's three points at the top of the final climb too so the winner there is likely to take the lead in the classification, due to their finishing position, but Pedraza is likely to be wearing the jersey with the stage winner set to wear the red jersey.  

 

41km remaining from 158km

The peloton are over the top of the first climb and are flying down the descent with Katusha leading the way. 

 

Outside of the Vuelta, André Greipel has continued his winning ways with victory at the Vattenfall Cycleassics. Get the full results and report here. 

 

The gap to the escapees has dropped under the two-minute mark with just 34km.

 

Reports are that the buses stuck with 6km to go are still out on the course. They've had to be parked up on the side of the road. We'll see who the offenders are when the race passes by. 

 

Qué bonito El Caminito del Rey #LV2015 http://t.co/t7StNO2oRL

@Laura_Meseguer Sun, 23rd Aug 2015 14:40:17

There is an intermediate sprint for the riders to contest with in 11 kilometres. Peter Sagan is currently in the points jersey but that is a symbolic thing as there were no points up for grabs yesterday. Whoever takes this sprint could take the jersey. 

 

There has been a big crash in the peloton and a lot of riders are down. Tiralongo, Grmay, Thompson, and Nibali have all been involved. 

 

This is chaos here and Nibali has only just got a replacement bike. There is a Lampre rider that looks in a very bad way and it seems someone was checking for his pulse. Let's hope that he is ok. Tiralongo has had a big blow to the head and there is an IAM Cycling rider still down. 

 

Good news is that Niemiec, who was the rider who looked very serious is now sitting up but that could be his race done and dusted. The IAM Cycling rider is still lying on the ground but he seems to be concious. 

 

Katusha push the peloton on and the gap is now just 1:13 to the escapees. Gonçalves is chasing back onto the escapees after a mechanical problem. 

 

24km remaining from 158km

Nacer Bouhanni and Peter Sagan got caught up in that crash and are pacing themselves back on. 

 

Marcus Burghardt has a crash but he looks ok.

 

A replay of the crash shows that it happened near the front of the bunch. The IAM Cycling rider who went down is reportedly David Tanner but we'll bring you confirmation once we have it. He's being put on a spinal board and that's the second IAM Cycling rider out on day two. Tanner was involved in a crash earlier today also.

 

Lampre-Merida report that Niemiec is now walking. That's good news for the Polish rider.

Gonçalves is now solo out front at 10 seconds over his former break companions. The break is just a minute behind. 

 

At the front of the peloton Kausha and Movistar continue to drive the pace on. Nibali is still chasing down the peloton after that crash and he's got three teammates with him. Astana still have Landa and Aru up front though. Another Astana rider Tiralongo is back with the medical car and he's got blood dripping down his face. 

 

It is Cataldo setting the pace in this chase group. The cars are in between so the gap between themselves and the peloton is significant. 

 

Gonçalves goes through the intermediate sprint and takes the points. Behind him, the peloton have caught the other escapees and it's Valverde and Rodríguez that take the remaining points. 

 

In our official statement we will let you know the conditions of Niemiec. Have a speed recovery Niem !

We've got our first time check on the Nibali group and they are 40 seconds behind the leader at the moment.

 

That gap to Nibali is now 1:20 and it's going to be a struggle for him to make it back on with Katusha drilling it still. 

 

The last climb comes with just over three kilometres to go. Like all of the summit finishes, it is new to the Vuelta a Espana.

 

The last climb comes with just over four kilometres to go. Like all of the summit finishes, it is new to the Vuelta a Espana.

 

13km remaining from 158km

Team Sky have moved towards of this main group to help Katusha. Vincenzo Nibali has just one teammate left with him. 

Nibali has made it back to the cars, which will boost his mood. That's a great effort from him as he nears the back of the main bunch. 

 

Nibali on his own now but he can see the end of the bunch and the pace seems to have slowed a little bit. 

 

In turn, the peloton can see Gonçalves in front of them. He's only got 8 seconds between himself and the bunch. 

 

10km remaining from 158km

Nibali finally makes the junction to the peloton with just over 10km to go. That's a great effort from the Italian but how much effort has that taken with a tricky climb remaining?

 

10km to go at the Vuelta and we're well positioned heading towards the final climb. Nibali now back in the peloton after the crash. #LV2015

@TeamSky Sun, 23rd Aug 2015 15:14:46

Gruppo compatto as Gonçalves is caught with around 8km to go. 

 

Cannondale are moving to the front of the peloton as they try to get Dan Martin in the right position. The pace is high and riders are really having to fight to keep in touch. 

 

Rojas is setting the pace on the front of the bunch for Movistar and he swings off for Amador to take over. Nairo Quintana is second in the peloton. 

 

The peloton pass the buses that got stuck, BMC, Cannondale and Lotto are among the ones that got themselves trapped. There are no problems for the riders though. 

 

Thomas brings the Sky team alongside Movistar and Orica-GreenEdge try to get into the mix too.

 

Lots of teams looking for an early win. Europcar also near the front as are BMC. 

 

Keukeleire is pulling the peloton with Esteban Chaves right behind him. Will he make an attack soon?

 

Nibali has managed to make it to the front as they hit the bottom of the climb. 

 

Jay McCarthy takes over for Tinkoff-Saxo with Rafal Majka in mind for this victory. Majka is about 10 riders back. 

 

An attack from Gautier who is moving to AG2R next season.

 

3km remaining from 158km

Gautier can't snap the elastic though and he's only got a small gap. 

 

The Frenchman is hitting the toughest parts. This climb ramps up to 15 per cent. 

 

Quintana attacks

 

Go through 3km to go Quintana makes a move but Roche closes him down and Tom Dumoulin makes a move. 

 

Roche is again closing it down. Is he working for Froome here or looking for the win himself?

 

We've got four riders at the head of affairs, they are Dumoulin, Roche, Quintana and Meintjes. 

 

2km remaining from 158km

The four escapees are still hanging out front. Maintjes is dropped as Quintana pushes the pace. 

 

Chaves has chased down and passed the three riders out front. Roche is struggling to keep him in check.

 

In the background, Dan Martin is also on the move. He can see the leaders but this is a very tough climb. 

 

A great effort from Dumoulin to keep in touch with Chaves. Roche keeps with him too but Quintana has been dropped. 

 

Last kilometre and Dumoulin, Roche and Chaves are out front with Quintana chasing them down. 

 

Chaves looks the most comfortable in this front group. 

 

Roche and Dumoulin look like they're in a world of pain. 

 

Roche attacks

 

It looks like this is between Chaves and Roche

 

Chaves attacks. 

 

Roche cracks and Dumoulin is still there!

 

Chaves attacks again

 

Dumoulin tries to pass him but he runs out of steam and Chaves wins. 

 

Roche is third and Dan Martin is fourth. 

 

Rodríguez comes in behind Martin and Froome in a group a little further behind. Riders coming through in ones and twos.

 

Nibali has lost a lot of time on that climb. He used up a lot of energy just chasing back. 

 

Chaves will be in the red jersey after that. A great result for the Colombian who almost saw his career ended by a huge crash in 2013. 

 

Quintata came over the line with Rodríguez at 26 seconds down. Froome lost four seconds to them with Aru 11 seconds down on the pair. These small amounts won't mean anything on the big days but perhaps a small mental blo early on. 

 

Here is the top 10 from today's stage. 

 

1 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica GreenEdge 3:57:25
2 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:00:01
3 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky 0:00:09
4 Daniel Martin (Irl) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:00:14
5 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:00:26
6 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:26
7 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:30
8 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:31
9 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:00:31
10 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:37
Susan

 

Chaves holds a five-second lead over Dumoulin in the overall standings. 

 

Esteban Chaves' biggest triumph since making patacon pisao for his team mates? https://t.co/230JyhA2gX

@inrng Sun, 23rd Aug 2015 15:44:24

And here is the top 10 in the GC after that stage, taking the bonus seconds into account. 

 

1 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica GreenEdge 3:57:15
2 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:00:05
3 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky 0:00:15
4 Daniel Martin (Irl) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:00:24
5 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:00:36
6 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:36
7 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:40
8 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:41
9 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:00:41
10 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:47

 

Tom Dumoulin finished second today and he was pretty happy at the end.

 

"I wanted to give it a try it was seven weeks training only, because of my crash but it felt pretty good. In training I went to altitude for two weeks and I just wanted ot see what my level was an dit turns out to be really good. Unfortunately Chaves was stronger. I didn’t pull because I knew I had one chance in the sprint but he still had something left in the sprint. I cannot be disappointed, I’m just happy. I just missed out on the victory but this means a lot to me."

 

Here is what a very happy Esteban Chaves had to say after the stage. 

 

""I felt that this was my moment to do it for the team, I felt like I was in a god position and in the end I did it and I got this jersey.

"We talked among ourselves and how to deal with everyone around us and the main thing to do was to attack these guys so that’s what we did. Roche and Dumoulin were good company and we got there in the end.

"At this point I’ve just got to keep going and be happy about this day and think about tomorrow. The team was incredible, my teammates did a good job."

 

And here is what third place Nicolas Roche said after the stage.

 

"The plan wasn’t to work for me, we had a plan for three or four f us to be at the front at the bottom and try and follow the moves. For sure, if I had waited for other attacks it would have ben harder so I had to go early. I was surprised to see Quintana to go so early. I thought, if he’s going to go early then he won’t go so deep so I thought I would follow his wheel. When it was the three of us there I tried to chance it but I was a bit hasty and in the last 500 when Chaves went I had nothing left."

 

That's is from us today. You can read today's report and find pictures and results here. We will have live coverage of the final stage of the USA Pro Challenge later today and tune in tomorrow for stage 3 of the Vuelta a Espana. 

 

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