Valverde Victor In Valencia!
PeloPics: Alejandro Valverde got back to winning ways on Thursday. The Spanish superstar from the Movistar Team claimed the honors on stage two of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, 154km from Bétera to Albuixech, with a display of power on all terrains which also awarded him the yellow jersey as overall leader.
The peloton passed the remains of last year’s forest fires
Valverde split the main group with a brutal acceleration with two kilometers before the summit of Garbí –the final Cat-1 ascent of today’s route, 31km from the finish – and crested it alongside Dane Jakob Fuglsang (Astana), a handful of seconds ahead of a peloton from which Luis León Sánchez jumped across on the downhill. Cooperation was perfect in both the descent and the flat after the climb, and despite furious attempts by Sky and BMC to bring the gap down, the trio reached the finishing straight together, with Valverde completing his exhibition with a superb sprint for his 109th pro victory.
Not a day for the sprinters like Dan McLay
The pursuit group crossed the line 19 seconds behind, which means that Valverde has 29 seconds on all other main contenders in the overall standings – the Astana duo now at 0:04 and 0:06 – before the decisive weekend of this year’s Volta. Friday will bring a likely decisive team time trial, 23km from Poble Nou de Benitatxell to Calpe, before Saturday settles things on a brutal route before the finish atop the Alto de Las Canteras (Cocentaina).
Sky had to chase hard behind Valverde for Wout Poels
Mechanical problems for Pierre Rolland
Matteo Fabbro (Katusha-Alpecin) and Neilson Powless (LottoNL-Jumbo)
The Sky team had a hard day
5th for Greg Van Avermaet
Wout Poels is now 4th overall
Astana were very active today
Stage and overall for Valverde
A happy Alejandro Valverde at the finish
Valverde in Yellow
Valencia stage 2:
Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana Stage 2 Result:
1. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar in 3:53:55
2. Luis León Sanchez (Spa) Astana
3. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana
4. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 0:19
5. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
6. Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Dimension Data
7. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana
8. Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
9. Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Cycling Academy
10. Adam Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott
Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana Overall After Stage 2:
1. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar in 5:27:58
2. Luis León Sanchez (Spa) Astana at 0:04
3. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 0:06
4. Wout Poels (Ned) Sky at 0:29
5. Diego Rosa (Ita) Sky
6. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana
7. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
8. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo
9. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC
10. Amaro Antunes (Por) CCC Sprandi Polkowice.