What's Cool In Road Cycling

Al Roadside: La VUELTA’19 Stage 2 Photo and Video Gallery

Vuelta Stage 2 PeloPics: From the salt mines of Torrevieja, Alastair Hamilton, our PEZman in Spain, moved a little bit up the coast to his local roads for the 2019 Vuelta a España stage 2. Here is what he saw ‘ROADSIDE’ in the hills of the Costa Blanca:

You can see the ‘PEZ Vuelta Stage 2 Report’ HERE and more in ‘EUROTRASH Monday’ HERE and ‘Al Roadside: La VUELTA’19 Stage 1 Photo and Video Gallery’ HERE.

John Degenkolb trying to find his name at the sign-on

Sometimes when you are ‘Race Chasing’ things don’t go they way you planned, but then there are days that are just a dream and even surpass your hopes. Stage 2 was one of them. See the stage four times and a good lunch, just perfect.

Primož Roglič: “There are still 20 stages to go”

The sign-on/start area in the resort town of Benidorm was crazy as usual.

Astana’s Dario Cataldo was second over the line in stage 1, so wore the points jersey on stage 2

Everyone wanted a photo or a handshake with a star, or any rider really…

Of course, overall leader ‘Superman’ Miguel Angel Lopez was one of the most popular riders there

There were many Colombians at the start, but there seems to be Colombians at every European race these days.

All the Colombian riders are popular with the home fans, Nairo Quintana is in a different league

The Colombians love cycling as much as football (soccer), and wear the yellow National team jersey and usually carry their flag, making it easier to spot them.

Regular PEZ interviewee; Patrick Bevin was looking fit

A big cheer went up – It could only be the World champion Alejandro Valverde.

He might be the biggest Spanish cycling star (at the moment), but he still has to queue at the sign-on… with Quintana on his wheel.

Valverde is by far the most popular rider in Spain, maybe not as much a Alberto Contador was in his last season, but it’s close.

A little bit different from the Belgian Classics – Zdeněk Štybar

Valverde wears the rainbow jersey well

J. FUGKSANG on the jersey?

Third on stage 1 gave Jakob Fuglsang the KOM jersey.

‘Best Young Rider’ James Knox

Nairo! Nairo! Nairo!

The request to hold the baby for a photo didn’t go down well with Nairo, lucky it was time to go.

The drive to Guadalest, the first climb of this years Vuelta, passed my house. Good job the fan club where there!

The climb summited on Confrides, but the best part of the 20,4 kilometre climb was below the village of Guadalest, so we waited for the first riders.

Sander Armée and Angel Madrazo

Didn’t have to wait long. Two groups of two riders and then the peloton.

Next up was South African Willie Smit and Spaniard Jonathan Lastra

The four eventually got together, but it didn’t last

Astana were in charge with Movistar close by

No heavy breathing from the World champion

Hugh Carthy was to make a move on the last climb

Not really Philippe Gilbert’s favourite terrain

Overall leader, Lopez, wasn’t near the front

James Knox taking it easy at the back

Esteban Chaves was maybe not at full fitness

Last man on the road (no names) had a long bottle hand up

From the first climb we had to head back towards the coast past the top pro team winter training destination of Calpe to the base of the start of the final climb of the Alto de Puig Llorença. Previous year the race would finish on the summit, called the Cumbre del Sol, but not this year. The finish was 25 kilometres away in Calpe. Bonus of the day: Found a free table in a restaurant at the base of the climb, but didn’t check what kind of restaurant it was. A bowl of Thai noodles went down very well for lunch.

Hugh Carthy led the charge

A short walk from the restaurant to the climb. It was too hot to go too far up.

All the top men were at the front; Valverde, Roglic. Lopez and Quintana

Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s Max Richeze was not too happy

Mitch Docker was halfway down the bunch

Henao was having a sweaty day

Ian Stannard was losing his hold on the peloton

Cataldo had lost it

Smit was paying for his early effort

Irish champion, Sam Bennett, would have his day… but not today

Tony Martin had been working hard and now had to make the best of it

Vasil Kiryienka was last man on the road

Time to go home, but there was a chance to catch the race on the way back to Calpe on the other side of the big circuit.

Willie Smit was on his own, but he did have a following car

Sprinter Bennett had two teammates to make sure he got home safe

Martin had company to Calpe

Kiryienka was quite far down, but at least he had a team car with him

Another day on the Spanish roads over and more to come, but it’s a long way to Madrid.

# Stage 3 and 4 coming soon….#

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