Madrid - Ireland's Nicolas Roche (Saxo) won the second stage of the Tour of
Spain as he sprinted clear in the final few metres of the 177.7km ride
from Pontevedra to Baiona on Sunday.
Roche was followed home by
Daniel Moreno (Katusha) and Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R) in second and
third respectively, but Giro d'Italia winner Vincenzo Nibali did enough
to move ahead in the overall classification as he finished just 14
"It is an incredible day for me," Roche told TVE afterwards.
"I have done a lot of work to be in good shape for this tour.
hope to keep having a good performance. If I can get to Madrid in
fourth, fifth or sixth (in the overall classification) it will be an
incredible tour for me."
Nibali meanwhile was happy to take the
leader's red jersey at such an early stage but is well aware of the
challenge that lies ahead of him over the next three weeks if he is to
win the tour for a second time.
"I am in very good condition and happy to have this red jersey that I already had once before back in 2010.
"But the Tour of Spain is very long and hard so I have to keep going day by day."
first four hours of the race had been dominated by a three way
breakaway as Francisco Javier Aramendia (Caja Rural), Gregory Henderson
(Lotto-Belisol) and Alex Rasmussen (Garmin-Sharp) built up a substantial
lead over the peloton.
The trio's advantage was as much as 13
minutes past the halfway mark before Lampre and Astana started to up the
pace in the peloton and a strong headwind also began to hinder the
Aramendia, Henderson and Rasmussen were finally caught
just before the 11km category one climb up the Alto do Monte da Groba to
finish, but apart from a short lived attack from Amets Txurruka (Caja
Rural) a large leading group remained together until the final two
Czech Konig Leopold (NetApp) was first to make a
break, but Moreno and Roche responded quickly and it was the latter who
was stronger in the final few hundred metres to take his first grand
tour stage victory.
Spaniards Ernesto Valverde (Movistar) and
Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) had a better day after disappointing team
time trials on Saturday as they finished just 12 seconds back to remain
However, it was a disastrous stage for Sergio Henao (Sky) as he was dropped on the final climb and lost 2mins 41sec.
Results and standings from the second stage of the Tour of Spain, a
177.7km ride from Pontevedra to Alto do Monte da Groba on Sunday:
1. Nicolas Roche (IRL/SAX) 4h37min 09sec
2. Daniel Moreno (ESP/KAT) at 0:02.
3. Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA/ALM) 0:06.
4. Leopold Knig (CZE/APP) 0:11.
5. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) 0:12.
6. Diego Ulissi (ITA/LAM) 0:12.
7. Joaquin Rodriguez (ESP/KAT) 0:12.
8. Ivan Basso (ITA/CAN) 0:14.
9. Bauke Mollema (NED/BKN) 0:14.
10. Rigoberto Uran (COL/SKY) 0:14.
11. Daniel Martin (IRL/GRM) 0:14.
12. Rafal Majka (POL/SAX) 0:14.
13. Chris Horner (USA/RSH) 0:14.
14. Thibaut Pinot (FRA/FDJ) 0:14.
15. Haimar Zubeldia (ESP/RSH) 0:14.
16. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/AST) 0:14.
17. Bartosz Huzarski (POL/APP) 0:14.
18. Roman Kreuziger (CZE/SAX) 0:14.
19. Mikel Nieve (ESP/EUS) 0:14.
20. Ivan Santaromita (ITA/BMC) 0:14.
65. Samuel Sanchez (ESP/EUS) 2:41.
1. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/AST) 5h07min 22sec
2. Nicolas Roche (IRL/SAX) at 0:08.
3. Haimar Zubeldia (ESP/RSH) 0:10.
4. Chris Horner (USA/RSH) 0:10.
5. Robert Kiserlovski (CRO/RSH) 0:10.
6. Rigoberto Uran (COL/SKY) 0:22.
7. Ben Hermans (BEL/RSH) 0:27.
8. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) 0:27.
9. Rafal Majka (POL/SAX) 0:32.
10. Roman Kreuziger (CZE/SAX) 0:32.
11. Leopold Knig (CZE/APP) 0:32.
12. Paolo Tiralongo (ITA/AST) 0:33.
13. Bartosz Huzarski (POL/APP) 0:35.
14. Ivan Santaromita (ITA/BMC) 0:36.
15. Eros Capecchi (ITA/MOV) 0:36.
16. Janez Brajkovic (SLO/AST) 0:37.
17. Chris Anker Sorensen (DEN/SAX) 0:39.
18. Daniel Moreno (ESP/KAT) 0:41.
19. Yannick Eijssen (BEL/BMC) 0:43.
20. Bauke Mollema (NED/BKN) 0:49.
24. Joaquin Rodriguez (ESP/KAT) 0:57.
29. Michele Scarponi (ITA/LAM) 1:09.
34. Ivan Basso (ITA/CAN) 1:26.
37. Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA/ALM) 1:29.
57. Samuel Sanchez (ESP/EUS) 3:41.