Vuelta a España: Marc Soler solos to victory on stage 2

Marc Soler (Movistar) won stage 2 of the Vuelta a Espana with a late solo attack from a select group on another demanding day in the mountains in Navarre.

Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) led home a nine-man group of GC contenders to finish second, successfully defending the red jersey.

Soler, having earlier diminished the peloton to just a select handful of favourites on the San Miguel de Aralar, and, with team leaders Enric Mas and Alejandro Valverde ensconced in the group, was allowed freedom to attack on the descent to the finish and win the stage.

The win was Soler's first at Grand Tour level and his biggest since his breakthrough overall victory at the 2018 Paris-Nice.

“I’m very happy because we're racing on home roads," Soler said. "This was a stage we really wanted to win and we’d studied the roads this week. This is my first win in a Grand Tour and I’m very happy about that. It pays us back for all the hard work done during what has been a very difficult year. It’s great for all the team and I can only thank them for their support.

"We knew the climb and Carlos Verona set a high pace. Then I kept going as fast as I could. If I got caught I knew that Alejandro could perhaps win. But I stayed out front and made it to the finish."

Finishing 19 seconds behind him was a group of overall favourites, consisting of Roglic, George Bennett, Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma), Enric Mas, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers), Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation), Hugh Carthy (EF Pro Cycling) and Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott).

The only riders missing from the top 10 of the general classification formed after yesterday's opening stage were Felix Grossschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Andrea Bagioli (Deceuninck-QuickStep), who were both dropped on the climb.

In an eventful stage, Movistar had earlier in the day capitalised on windy conditions to cause splits in the peloton, although none of the major favourites were caught out, while Richard Caparaz also put in a short-lived surprise attack on the run-in to the final climb.

"We know they are really strong, we could feel it today. They did great racing," Roglic said of the Movistar effort

"Again at the end nice result - it was a hard day, nervous because of the wind and a hard climb at the end. But our team did again a good job controlling the whole day and they keep me in the right position. in the climb it was a hard pace. Soler went away - he deserved to win."

How it unfolded

Following yesterday's uphill finish to Monte Arrate, stage 2 was expected to be another early GC showdown. The category one San Miguel de Aralar awaited the riders near the end of the stage, followed by a 17km descent to the finish in Lekunberri.

The large time gaps produced by yesterday's stage meant that several riders already far adrift in the standings fancied their chance of getting into today's break, and the stage began with a flurry of attacks out of the peloton.

Following failed attempts from the likes of Pim Ligthart (Total Direct Energie) and Quentin Jauregui (AG2R La Mondiale), a four-man group succeeded in breaking clear, consisting of Julius van den Berg (EF Pro Cycling), Julien Amezqueta (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Juan Felipe Osorio (Burgos-BH) and Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal), who was also in the break yesterday.

That wasn't the end of matters, however, and a fast pace was maintained in the peloton to keep them in sight during the run-in to the day's first climb, the category three Puerto de Guirguillano. There was a big reshuffle on that climb, and after cresting it a new group of five formed: Wellens, Alex Aranburu (Astana), Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), Jonathan Hivert (Total Direct Energie) and Gonzalo Serrano (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA).

Their gap grew out to four minutes and remained at around that amount for a while as Jumbo-Visma set a steady pace in the peloton.

At 72km from the finish, Wellens attacked the rest of the break on the category 3 Puerto de Urbasa, and by the top had put 1:37, as well as extending his lead over the peloton to over six minutes.

After cresting the climb, the pace in the peloton suddenly increased as Movistar accelerated as the wind blew on a section of exposed roads. Eight riders gained a small gap over the rest of the peloton, among them Primoz Roglic, until everything partially settled down again after a change of direction into more sheltered roads.

The damage had been done, however, and large groups still trailed the peloton as Movistar continued to set a pace.

Guillaume Martin, who placed 18th on yesterday's stage, was the highest-ranked rider on GC to be caught out, and his Cofidis team tried in vain to close the gap.

The action had a detrimental effect on the breakaway, which by the 40km to go point held a lead of just 3:08 on the peloton, with Wellens a further 40 seconds ahead. It was at this moment that Wellens thought better of his bold solo attack, and slowed down to rejoin his former breakaway companions.

It wasn't long before the break fractured again, however, as Armirail attacked almost immediately after its reforming. With the peloton now less than a minute adrift, however, Armirail was only delaying the inevitable.

There was another surprise move in the peloton 33km from the finish when Richard Caparaz attacked with teammate Andrey Amador. They caught the residue of the break, with Aranburu and later Armirail latching on to form a quartet, and held a lead of about ten seconds at the foot of the final climb, San Miguel de Aralar.

Although the four riders were caught shortly after the beginning of the climb, the peloton was now heavily reduced after Movistar, and Jumbo-Visma, had upped the pace in order to neutralise Carapaz.

As Movistar continued to set the pace, the peloton was reduced to around just thirty riders, with Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma) the biggest name to be dropped. Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) attacked 5.7km from the top of the climb, and stayed out front in the lead until 2.5km from the top, by which time the peloton had been further reduced to fifteen riders, with Felix Grossschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe), who was fifth yesterday, among those dropped.

Marc Soler continued to set a vicious pace up the final part of the climb, until just eight riders remained with him: teammates Enric Mas and Valverde, Carapaz, Dan Martin, Carthy, Chaves, Kuss and overall leader Roglic.

Carapaz attacked over the summit and continued to pile the pressure on the descent, but the others managed to reel him in.

Despite having done so much work on the climb, Soler had the legs to attack on the descent, opening up an advantage of over 20 seconds.

Having rejoined the group of favourites on the descent, George Bennett joined Kuss in setting the pace for their leader Roglic, but Soler continued to fly down the descent and held enough of an advantage to celebrate victory at the line. 

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Full results
PlaceRider (Country) TeamResult
1Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team03:47:04
2Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma00:00:19
3Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-Up Nation00:00:19
4Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers00:00:19
5Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team00:00:19
6Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team00:00:19
7Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott00:00:19
8Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Pro Cycling00:00:19
9Sepp Kuss (USA) Team Jumbo-Visma00:00:19
10George Bennett (NZl) Team Jumbo-Visma00:00:19
11Andrea Bagioli (Ita) Deceuninck-Quickstep00:00:58
12Gino Mäder (Swi) NTT Pro Cycling00:01:01
13Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates00:01:01
14David De la Cruz Melgarejo (Spa) UAE Team Emirates00:01:01
15Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck-Quickstep00:01:01
16Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana Pro Team00:01:01
17Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Trek-Segafredo00:01:01
18Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe00:01:01
19Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana Pro Team00:01:01
20Mikel Nieve Iturralde (Spa) Mitchelton-Scott00:01:01
21David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ00:01:01
22Luis León Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team00:01:01
23Davide Formolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates00:01:01
24Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) UAE Team Emirates00:01:01
25Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain McLaren00:01:15
26Kobe Goossens (Bel) Lotto Soudal00:04:14
27Ivan Ramiro Sosa Cuervo (Col) Ineos Grenadiers00:05:56
28Nicholas Schultz (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott00:06:34
29Jose Herrada (Spa) Cofidis00:06:40
30Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Movistar Team00:06:40
31Georg Zimmermann (Ger) CCC Team00:08:20
32Aritz Bagues Kalparsoro (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA00:08:20
33William Barta (USA) CCC Team00:08:20
34Tsgabu Gebremaryam Grmay (Eth) Mitchelton-Scott00:08:20
35Omar Fraile Matarranz (Spa) Astana Pro Team00:08:20
36José Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team00:08:20
37Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma00:08:20
38Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis00:08:20
39Jhojan Orlando Garcia Sosa (Col) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA00:10:28
40Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Groupama-FDJ00:10:34
41Romain Seigle (Fra) Groupama-FDJ00:10:34
42Bruno Armirail (Fra) Groupama-FDJ00:10:34
43Jannik Steimle (Ger) Deceuninck-Quickstep00:10:34
44Koen De Kort (Ned) Trek-Segafredo00:10:34
45Mark Donovan (GBr) Team Sunweb00:10:34
46Michael Valgren (Den) NTT Pro Cycling00:10:34
47Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar Team00:10:34
48Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Burgos-BH00:12:57
49Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal00:12:57
50Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana Pro Team00:15:02
51Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis00:15:26
52Juan Pedro Lopez Perez (Spa) Trek-Segafredo00:15:26
53Anthony Roux (Fra) Groupama-FDJ00:15:26
54Lorrenzo Manzin (Fra) Total Direct Energie00:15:26
55Michel Ries (Lux) Trek-Segafredo00:15:26
56Robert Gesink (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma00:15:26
57Julien Simon (Fra) Total Direct Energie00:15:26
58Willie Smit (RSA) Burgos-BH00:15:26
59Robert Stannard (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott00:15:26
60Dion Smith (NZl) Mitchelton-Scott00:15:26
61Paul Ourselin (Fra) Total Direct Energie00:15:26
62Olivier Le Gac (Fra) Groupama-FDJ00:15:26
63Fred Wright (GBr) Bahrain McLaren00:15:26
64Scott Davies (GBr) Bahrain McLaren00:15:26
65Jasper Philipsen (Bel) UAE Team Emirates00:15:26
66Valentin Ferron (Fra) Total Direct Energie00:15:26
67Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Israel Start-Up Nation00:15:26
68Remy Mertz (Bel) Lotto Soudal00:15:26
69Ivo Oliveira (Por) UAE Team Emirates00:15:26
70Cameron Wurf (Aus) Ineos Grenadiers00:15:26
71Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ00:15:26
72Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar Team00:15:26
73Ion Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Astana Pro Team00:15:26
74Tosh Van der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal00:15:26
75Niklas Eg (Den) Trek-Segafredo00:15:26
76Michal Golas (Pol) Ineos Grenadiers00:15:26
77Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Deceuninck-Quickstep00:15:26
78Andrey Amador (CRc) Ineos Grenadiers00:15:26
79Ian Garrison (USA) Deceuninck-Quickstep00:15:26
80Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Ineos Grenadiers00:15:26
81Jefferson Alveiro Cepeda (Ecu) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA00:15:26
82Sam Bennett (Irl) Deceuninck-Quickstep00:15:26
83Romain Sicard (Fra) Total Direct Energie00:15:26
84Alexander Kamp (Den) Trek-Segafredo00:15:26
85Michael Mørkøv (Den) Deceuninck-Quickstep00:15:26
86Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team00:15:26
87Niki Terpstra (Ned) Total Direct Energie00:16:07
88Victor Lafay (Fra) Cofidis00:16:07
89Jesus Ezquerra Muela (Spa) Burgos-BH00:16:07
90Emils Liepins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo00:16:07
91Paul Martens (Ger) Team Jumbo-Visma00:16:07
92Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe00:16:07
93Fernando Barcelo Aragon (Spa) Cofidis00:18:44
94Logan Owen (USA) EF Pro Cycling00:18:44
95Juan Felipe Osorio Arboleda (Col) Burgos-BH00:18:44
96Alex Molenaar (Ned) Burgos-BH00:18:44
97Nicholas Dlamini (RSA) NTT Pro Cycling00:18:44
98Brent Van Moer (Bel) Lotto Soudal00:18:44
99Francisco Jose Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) CCC Team00:18:44
100Gerben Thijssen (Bel) Lotto Soudal00:18:44
101Jonathan Lastra Martinez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA00:18:44
102Thyman Arensman (Ned) Team Sunweb00:18:44
103Jay Mc Carthy (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe00:18:44
104Emmanuel Morin (Fra) Cofidis00:18:44
105Harry Tanfield (GBr) AG2R la Mondiale00:18:44
106Alexis Renard (Fra) Israel Start-Up Nation00:18:44
107Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (RSA) NTT Pro Cycling00:18:44
108Chris Froome (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers00:18:44
109Stefan De Bod (RSA) NTT Pro Cycling00:18:44
110Natnael Berhane (Eri) Cofidis00:18:44
111Lukasz Wisniowski (Pol) CCC Team00:18:44
112Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Astana Pro Team00:18:44
113Michal Paluta (Pol) CCC Team00:18:44
114Kevin Inkelaar (Ned) Bahrain McLaren00:18:44
115Enrico Gasparotto (Swi) NTT Pro Cycling00:18:44
116Nans Peters (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale00:18:44
117Carlos Barbero (Spa) NTT Pro Cycling00:18:44
118Stan Dewulf (Bel) Lotto Soudal00:18:44
119Jetse Bol (Ned) Burgos-BH00:18:44
120Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA00:18:44
121Gonzalo Serrano Rodriguez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA00:18:44
122Oscar Cabedo Carda (Spa) Burgos-BH00:18:44
123Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck-Quickstep00:18:44
124Jasha Sütterlin (Ger) Team Sunweb00:18:44
125Ricardo Vilela (Por) Burgos-BH00:18:44
126Rory Sutherland (Aus) Israel Start-Up Nation00:18:44
127Max Kanter (Ger) Team Sunweb00:18:44
128Matteo Badilatti (Swi) Israel Start-Up Nation00:18:44
129Aleksandr Riabushenko (Blr) UAE Team Emirates00:18:44
130Benjamin Dyball (Aus) NTT Pro Cycling00:18:44
131Omer Goldstein (Isr) Israel Start-Up Nation00:18:44
132Dorian Godon (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale00:18:44
133Julen Amezqueta Moreno (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA00:18:44
134Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Lotto Soudal00:18:44
135Clément Champoussin (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale00:18:44
136Hector Saez Benito (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA00:18:44
137Jorge Arcas (Spa) Movistar Team00:18:44
138Tejay Van Garderen (USA) EF Pro Cycling00:18:44
139Mitchell Docker (Aus) EF Pro Cycling00:18:44
140Daniel Felipe Martinez Poveda (Col) EF Pro Cycling00:18:44
141Pim Ligthart (Ned) Total Direct Energie00:18:44
142Julius Van den Berg (Ned) EF Pro Cycling00:18:44
143Michael Woods (Can) EF Pro Cycling00:18:44
144James Piccoli (Can) Israel Start-Up Nation00:18:44
145Pierre Luc Perichon (Fra) Cofidis00:18:44
146Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Total Direct Energie00:18:44
147Grega Bole (Slo) Bahrain McLaren00:18:44
148Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain McLaren00:18:44
149Santiago Buitrago Sanchez (Col) Bahrain McLaren00:18:44
150Lennard Hofstede (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma00:18:44
151Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Team Jumbo-Visma00:18:44
152Jan Hirt (Cze) CCC Team00:18:44
153Rui Oliveira (Por) UAE Team Emirates00:20:03
154Ide Schelling (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe00:21:23
155Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe00:21:23
156Rüdiger Selig (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe00:21:23
157Martin Laas (Est) Bora-Hansgrohe00:21:23
158Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe00:21:23
159Mihkel Räim (Est) Israel Start-Up Nation00:21:23
160Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) EF Pro Cycling00:21:23
161Stephen Williams (GBr) Bahrain McLaren00:21:23
162Matteo Moschetti (Ita) Trek-Segafredo00:21:23
163Martin Salmon (Ger) Team Sunweb00:21:23
164Michael Storer (Aus) Team Sunweb00:21:23
165Rob Power (Aus) Team Sunweb00:21:23
166Alexander Edmondson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott00:21:23
167Mickael Delage (Fra) Groupama-FDJ00:21:23
168Jakub Mareczko (Ita) CCC Team00:21:23
169Callum Scotson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott00:21:23
170Simon Geschke (Ger) CCC Team00:21:23
171Quentin Jauregui (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale00:21:23
DNFBrandon Smith Rivera Vargas (Col) Ineos Grenadiers
DNFAxel Domont (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale
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Sprint 1 - Arbizu, km. 118
PlaceRider (Country) TeamResult
1Bruno Armirail (Fra) Groupama-FDJ4
2Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana Pro Team2
3Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Total Direct Energie1
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Sprint 2 - Lekunberri km. 151.6
PlaceRider (Country) TeamResult
1Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team25
2Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma20
3Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-Up Nation16
4Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers14
5Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team12
6Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team10
7Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott9
8Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Pro Cycling8
9Sepp Kuss (USA) Team Jumbo-Visma7
10George Bennett (NZl) Team Jumbo-Visma6
11Andrea Bagioli (Ita) Deceuninck-Quickstep5
12Gino Mäder (Swi) NTT Pro Cycling4
13Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates3
14David De la Cruz Melgarejo (Spa) UAE Team Emirates2
15Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck-Quickstep1
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Mountain 1 (Cat. 3) Alto de Guirguillano km. 29.2
PlaceRider (Country) TeamResult
1Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal3
2Julius Van den Berg (Ned) EF Pro Cycling2
3Ion Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Astana Pro Team1
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Mountain 2 (Cat. 3) Puerto de Urbasa km. 87.2
PlaceRider (Country) TeamResult
1Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal3
2Bruno Armirail (Fra) Groupama-FDJ2
3Gonzalo Serrano Rodriguez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA1
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Mountain 3 (Cat. 1) Alto de San Miguel km. 134.7
PlaceRider (Country) TeamResult
1Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers10
2Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team6
3Sepp Kuss (USA) Team Jumbo-Visma4
4Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-Up Nation2
5Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma1
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Young riders
PlaceRider (Country) TeamResult
1Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team03:47:23
2Andrea Bagioli (Ita) Deceuninck-Quickstep00:00:39
3Gino Mäder (Swi) NTT Pro Cycling00:00:42
4Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana Pro Team00:00:42
5David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ00:00:42
6Kobe Goossens (Bel) Lotto Soudal00:03:55
7Ivan Ramiro Sosa Cuervo (Col) Ineos Grenadiers00:05:37
8Georg Zimmermann (Ger) CCC Team00:08:01
9William Barta (USA) CCC Team00:08:01
10Jhojan Orlando Garcia Sosa (Col) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA00:10:09
11Jannik Steimle (Ger) Deceuninck-Quickstep00:10:15
12Mark Donovan (GBr) Team Sunweb00:10:15
13Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana Pro Team00:14:43
14Juan Pedro Lopez Perez (Spa) Trek-Segafredo00:15:07
15Michel Ries (Lux) Trek-Segafredo00:15:07
16Robert Stannard (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott00:15:07
17Fred Wright (GBr) Bahrain McLaren00:15:07
18Scott Davies (GBr) Bahrain McLaren