Alejandro Valverde has won the second stage of the Vuelta a Pais Vasco edging out Oscar Freire on the uphill finish into Viana. In an inversion of yesterday’s finishing order, Valverde seemed to have the legs on the uphill which likely favored him over Freire who couldn’t close the gap on the overall race leader. Francesco Gavazzi rounded out the top three.
The stage was dictated by a Michael Rogers breakaway for much of the day, as at one point Rogers had built up a lead of nearly 8 minutes. The break was caught with about 20 km remaining and the peleton rolled toward Viana complete until the closing 5 km.
It was within the last 5km that things began to shake up with attacks launched repeatedly by Katusha, Sky, and Garmin with Bradley Wiggins testing his legs into the final corner and rise. However, it was all negated by a strong push by both Valverde and Freire as the put a one second gap into the rest surging to the line.
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Stage 2 results
1. Alejandro Valverde (Caisse D’Epargne) 5:53:40
2. Oscar Freire (Rabobank)____________s.t.
3. Francesco Gavazzi (Lampre)_________1 sec
4. Michael Albasini (HTC Columbia)______s.t.
5. Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel)_________s.t.
General Classification after two stages
1. Alejandro Valverde (Caisse D’Epargne)
2. Oscar Freire (Rabobank)