Vuelta a Espana Stage 2: Strong Performance from De la Parte on the First GC Day
After a strong performance in the opening Team Time Trial, Victor de la Parte confirmed his good form by finishing a very demanding stage two of the Vuelta a España in a quality group that included most of the General Classification favorites.
Although it was only the second day of racing, it turned out to be a day much harder than expected and one for the General Classification contenders.
A four-man group which broke clear on the first categorized climb was allowed the gain more than six minutes over the bunch with CCC Team riders, but they were never a serious threat for the peloton and were eventually caught just before the bottom of the decisive climb, the category two Alto de Puig Llorença, which was three kilometers long and featured a very steep gradient of 9.5 percent.
It was at this point, the bunch broke into pieces and de la Parte was among those who made it into the main group with most of the GC favorites. He crested the top with the best but, on the following shorter hill, six riders made their move and the Spaniard found himself in the chase group of around 15 riders, which was 30 seconds back with five kilometers to go.
In the end, the leading group managed to hold off the chasers and after a late solo attack, Nairo Quintana (Movistar) took the win. De la Parte crossed the line in 17th place, 37 seconds behind the stage winner and now sits in 11th place overall, 48 seconds behind new race leader Nicolas Roche (Team Sunweb).
Quotes from the Finish Line:
Victor de la Parte
“I already felt good in yesterday’s TTT and I think that today’s stage only confirmed that I’m well prepared for my home Grand Tour. I’m happy with how my legs were responding on the climbs, especially on the last one, where the bunch exploded and I was able to follow the best. All of the attackers who went away after the last KOM had their teammates in my group, so I had to spend a lot of energy on chasing them down and in the end, there was not much left for the sprint. I can be happy with the way we have started the race, since I’m sitting in 11th place overall and I’m not that far back time-wise but, the most important thing is that the sensations are good and we are in a good position before the next tough stages.”
Stage 2: Benidorm – Calpe, 199,8km
Top 3: 1. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) 2. Nicolas Roche (Team Sunweb) 3. Primož Roglič (Team Jumbo-Visma)
CCC Team Top 3: 17. Victor de la Parte 73. Jonas Koch 78. Patrick Bevin
Gijs Van Hoecke on the Attack at EuroEyes Cylassics Hamburg
Gijs Van Hoecke flew the CCC Team flag in the breakaway of the day at the one-day UCI WorldTour EuroEyes Cyclassics Hamburg which ultimately came down to an expected bunch sprint won by Elia Viviani (Deceuninck – Quick Step).
Van Hoecke was joined by Alex Frame (Trek-Segafredo), José Gonçales (Team Katusha Alpecin) and Igor Boev (Gasprom-RusVelo) and with the peloton sitting up, the quartet quickly increased their advantage to reach a maximum of ten minutes after 50 kilometers of racing.
With 216 kilometers on the cards and the breakaway cooperating well, their advantage remained steady with the peloton slowly shaving a couple of minutes off the gap with 100 kilometers to go.
Four ascensions of the Waseberg, a short but steep 700-meter climb with an average gradient of 9.7 percent, on the finishing circuit took its toll on both the breakaway and the bunch, and with 30 kilometers remaining, Van Hoecke’s advantage was under two minutes.
The catch was eventually made with 22 kilometers to go, from which point the sprinters’ teams took further control of the race and increased the tempo on the final ascent.
Łukasz Wiśniowski lost contact towards the top but was able to dig deep and come back to the front of the descent and run into the finish which, as expected, came down to a bunch sprint with Viviani winning for the third consecutive year.
Wiśniowski held on to cross the line in 22nd place in the same group as CCC Team’s first rider across the line.
EuroEyes Cyclassics Hamburg
Hamburg > Hamburg (216km)
Top 3: 1. Elia Viviani (Deceuninck – Quick Step), 2. Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal), 3. Giacomo Nizzolo (Team Dimension Data)
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