2013 Vuelta – Stage 2 – Seeing Red and Avoiding it.

RocheVuelta

When fans ask why Grand Tours don’t have more climbs in the first week, why the Tour always seems to start with one week of sprint stages geography is often used as an explanation. But what of the Vuelta and Giro where mountains can be found in every corner of the country? Today, is your answer. Don’t get me wrong, today’s second stage of the Vuelta a España was dramatic, surprising and exciting, but it did miss that something special. It missed the killer instinct by the top GC men. With Astana already in control of the red jersey after yesterday´s TTT they held a ten second lead on the next group of competitors from Radioshack. What Astana has, and eventually wants – the Red jersey – they currently have and don’t want – the responsibility. So, as Movistar and Astana worked away at the front of the race on the final climb they were doing so at enough of a pace to eliminate competitors like Samuel Sanchez and Sergio Henao (who lost 2’41”) but not fast enough to make a gap that would give them the red jersey.

When Dani Moreno, Dominico Pozzovivo, Leopold Keonig and eventual stage winner Nicolas Roche got the sense of this they were off in search of the glory that oddly no one seemed to want. As the four battled it out through the final 1.6km the favorites then were able to focus on beating each other, which Alejandro Valverde managed to do gaining small seconds on his rivals with his finishing speed.

If you’re really geeky about race and team tactics, seeing a 10km climb on the second stage of a grand tour is a nice change, but if you are in it to be on the edge of your seat seeing the big names slug it out, today may have been a stage that left you with many inches remaining to get to the edge of your seat.

2013 Vuelta Stage 2 Top Ten
1. Nicolas Roche (ALM)_______4h37’09”
2. Daniel Moreno (KAT)_______+2″
3. Domenico Pozzovivo (ALM)__+6″
4. Leopold Konig (NET)_______+11″
5. Alejandro Valverde (MOV)__+12″
6. Diego Ulissi (LAM)
7. Joaquim Rodriguez (KAT)
8. Ivan Basso (CAN)__________+14″
9. Bauke Mollema (BEL)
10. Rigoberto Uran (SKY)

Overall Classification after 2 stages
1. Vincenzo Nibali (AST)______5h07’22”
2. Nicolas Roche (TST)________+8″
3. Haimar Zubeldia (RLT)______+10″
4. Chris Horner (RLT)
5. Robert Kiserlovski (RLT)
6. Rigoberto Uran (SKY)_______+22″
7. Ben Hermans (RLT)________+27″
8. Alejandro Valverde (MOV)
9. Rafal Majka (TST)__________+32″
10. Roman Kreuziger (TST)

20. Bauke Mollema (BEL)_______+49″

24. Joaquim Rodriguez (KAT)___+57″

29. Michele Scarponi (LAM)____+1’09”
30. Mikel Nieve (EUS)_________+1’14”

33. Thibault Pinot (FDJ)_______+1’25”
34. Ivan Basso (CAN)_________+1’26”

37. Domenico Pozzovivo (ALM)__+1’29”

39. David Arroyo (CJR)________+1’38”
40. Dan Martin (GRM)_________+1’41”

49. Sergio Luis Henao (SKY)___+2’49”

57. Samuel Sanchez (EUS)______+3’41”

67. Igor Anton (EUS)__________+5’10”

141. Carlos Betancur (ALM)____+11’38”

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2 thoughts on “2013 Vuelta – Stage 2 – Seeing Red and Avoiding it.

    1. Yes, it’s always interesting not only for the fans but the teams involved. Nearly everyone assumes Astana doesn’t want the Red jersey this early, so if they can allow a few guys from Caja Rural, Orica, Euskaltel and maybe Netapp to get together in a break, Astana will just let them go up the road. Ideal for Astana would be that a team like Netapp gets it and wants to hang on for as long as possible. That happened with Voeckler in 2004 and that made for fun racing and a French star out of “Le Chouchou”

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