International Cycling

Meersman wins Vuelta second stage

2016-08-21 18:57
Gianni Meersman (AFP)

Baiona - Belgium's Gianni Meersman claimed victory in a bunch sprint on the second stage of the Vuelta on Sunday.

Meersman, of the Etixx-Quick Step team, edged Britain's Scott Thwaites and Denmark's Magnus Cort-Nielsen to the line on the 160.8km stage from Ourense to Baiona in a time of four hours, 16 minutes and 39 seconds.

Poland's Sky rider Michal Kwiatkowski finished fourth and takes the overall race leader's red jersey from his team-mate, Britain's Peter Kennaugh.

The British team, led by Tour de France winner Chris Froome, won Saturday's opening team time-trial.

Froome finished safely in the pack to move up to fourth in the general standings.

Movistar duo Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana, two of Froome's main rivals to prevent the Brit becoming the first man in 38 years to win both the Tour de France and the Vuelta in the same year, are in third and seventh respectively.

Meersman took advantage of a rare flat stage in the three-week trek around Spain to land his first ever stage win in a Grand Tour.

A breakaway involving four riders -- Philippe Gilbert, Laurent Pichon, Cesare Benedetti and Bryan Nauleau -- was caught with 15 kilometres to go, setting up the peloton for a sprint finish.

"I had been feeling stressed, but this morning I said to my wife I felt good and to watch the TV because it could be the day," said Meersman.

"I have spent a lot of time finishing second and I am very grateful to the team for having placed their confidence in me. I am really happy."

The race continues on Monday as the riders endure the first serious climbs of the tour in a 176.4km ride from Marin to Dumbria in Galicia.

Read more on:    vuelta a espana  |  cycling
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

Big month in the world of golf as the FedEx Cup concludes on the PGA Tour, the Race to Dubai gathers steam on the European Tour and the Sunshine Tour offers local golfers the chance to bank some cash. Oh, and not forgetting the USA v Europe Ryder Cup showdown at Hazeltine!

Latest blogs
Vote

Besides the 'Big 3' of rugby, cricket and soccer, which of the 'smaller' sports in South Africa do you enjoy the most?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.