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Volta Ciclista a Catalunya. Stage 2. Calm day with fast final

Stage 2 of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya has been held today between Mataró and Valls with a total distance of 175,6 km. Hilly route profile and a second category climb with just 10 km to go could offer an interesting turn on the stage, but this did not happen.

- The stage was quite easy. We could not do many things today, because a few teams worked well in front, trying to bring the group for the final sprint. We just followed the others, since there was not possible to do a good attack due to the high speed of the group and a strong wind on the final climb. Of course, Movistar is a big favorite in this race, but we are looking forward to try something in the next days, - explained sports director Bruno Cenghialta.

When the break of three riders went away, the peloton took it easy, starting chasing calmly and without big hurry. Anyway, with 61 km to go the main group almost caught the break, reducing the time deficit to only 40-50 seconds. It was Astana rider Andriy Grivko, who attacked in that moment, trying to bridge to the leaders. He succeeded, joining the break with 59 km to go and trying to reanimate the leading group. Grivko did a huge effort to keep the group out there in front of the race during around 10 kilometers before it was finally absorbed by the peloton.

On the last climb of the day the Coll de Lilla there were a few attacks, but with a very fast pace of the group due to a strong wind, nobody could get any serious advantage. Finally, the peloton came together to the finish line in Valls to play the stage in a massive sprint, won by the Spaniard Alejandro Valverde. Second place took Daryl Impey, while Jay McCarthy was third. Sergei Chernetskii was the best Astana performer with 15th position.

As the yesterday’s stage winner Jose Alvaro Hodeg has dropped on the last climb, Valverde became the new overall leader. Sergei Chernetskii moved up to 19th position, 12 seconds behind Valverde.

Stage three will bring the peloton of the Volta a Catalunya to the mountains, but the initial route of 199,2 km from Sant Cugat to Vallter 2000 will be modified. The new route of stage 3 will finish in Camprodon after 153,2 km.

Photo credit: ©Bettiniphoto

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