Alejandro Valverde, the second stage in the Tour of Catalonia won. He was in Valls the fastest in the sprint of a thinned peloton. He also takes immediately the leader’s jersey of Alvaro Hodeg, that the hilly final not survived.
The second stage took the riders on 175,6 km from Mataro to Valls. Way waited two climbs of third category, the last of these was on 10,6 kilometers from the finish. And that made for a wait-and-see attitude in the first part of the stage.
With Igor Merino (Burgos), Antonio Molina (Caja Rural) and Mikel Bizkarra (Euskadi) went three Spaniards out but Quick Step Floors showed the trio never more than three minutes driving away. The men of Patrick Lefevere protect the jersey of Alvaro Hodeg, the winner of the first stage.
Slow, too slow
A lot of effort had “the Wolf Pack” (such as the Quicksteppers call themselves), however, not to the course under control. After two hours, price was the average less than 36 km/h. She drove even slower than the slowest schedule and that made for problems. 72 km from the finish had the race be neutralized because of the three leaders… stood before a closed railroad crossing. When also the platoon, the railroad came, the jury also them two minutes to stop at the railroad, so that the leaders with the same lead again on the road could.
At 60 kilometers from the finish, the lead of the three only a little more than one minute. Andrei Grivko made then but the jump forward and the arrival of the Astana rider took a moment for a new impetus in the front. Not long, because 47 kilometers they were caught.
Movistar takes over
The signal for Movistar of the big favourite Alejandro Valverde to the command to take over and immediately went up the pace with a jerk, the height, the direction of the Coll de Lilla (5.4 km at 5 percent). The Frenchman Cyril Barthe made for some extra publicity for his team Euskadi by only going on the attack but at the foot of the actual climb, he was again apprehended. Uphill determined Movistar and Mitchelton-Scott pace. The back was open the door and 2.5 km from the summit had a leader Alvaro Hodeg solve, as many sprinters.
The attack of Vincenzo Nibali in the descent of the Poggio in Milan-Sanremo seems to work inspiring because just before the top fell Pierre Latour, and the Frenchman of AG2R popped up the first down, but he was soon nabbed.
Sprint of a thinned peloton
The last two kilometers were flat and we had a sprint of a thinned peloton. And therein laid Alejandor Valverde immediately the remaining fast men over the knee. Impressive. The Spaniard immediately becomes the new leader.
Tomorrow summit arrival
Wednesday the peloton goes in 199,5 km from Sant Cugat after Vallter, where normally the first summit arrival wait. Heavy winds, however, would still be a spoilsport can play, the jury is about still together.
1. Alejandro Valverde