Hutarovich Takes Stage 2 of Vuelta
Yauheni Hutarovich (Francaise des Jeux.com) has won Stage 2 of the Vuelta a Espana.
Yauheni Hutarovich (Francaise des Jeux) has won Stage 2 of the Vuelta a Espana. The Belorussian took a bunch sprint to win the rolling, 173.7-km ride from Alcara de Guadaira to Marbella in 4:35:41. Race leader Mark Cavendish (HTC) finished second, and Tyler Farrar (Garmin) took third. Cavendish remains the overall leader.
The hostilities began early. Johnny Walter (Footon), Mickael Buffaz (Cofidis), Javier Abeja Ramirez (Andalucia Caja Sur), and Mickael Delage (Omega Pharma) went off of the front at four km and led by 5:00 11 km later. On the day's only categorized climb, the Category 3 Alto de Pruna, the break's lead maxed out at 7:09.
On the lower slopes of the climb, Buffaz crashed and abandoned with a broken collarbone. His companions continued without him and breasted the summit 6:02 ahead of the HTC-led peloton.
Xacobeo Galicia joined HTC at the front, and the break's lead over the bunch dropped to 4:30 at 98 km. Fifteen km later, the leading trio's advantage was down to 2:50.
Delage attacked his companions. With 48 km left, the Frenchman led Walker and Ramirez by 0:30. Delage's advantage grew to more than 4:00.
Marcos Garcia (Xacobeo Garcia) attacked out of the peloton. With 41 km left, he reached the three leaders, who led the peloton by 1:20. Behind, HTC pushed the pace and narrowed the gap to less than 1:00 with 40 km remaining.
With 32 km to go, the break led the bunch by 0:15. Walker attacked and forged a 0:47 lead. His breakmates fought back, and closed to within 0:16 with 20 km remaining. Four km later, the quartet was together again.
Lampre led the chase, which scooped up the break with 12 km left. Milram, Caisse d'Epargne, HTC, and Sky took station at or near the front to support sprinters or to keep GC men out of trouble. Six km later, Liquigas joined Lampre at the front.
With two km remaining, Cofidis, Quick Step, and Liquigas battled for control of the peloton. At the one-km banner, no team had a firm grip on the bunch.
Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre) began the sprint, and Cavendish and Farrar went with him. Hutarovich, however, burst past Cavendish in the last 100 m for the win.
In the overall, Cavendish leads teammates Kanstantin Siutsov and Peter Veliks by 0:12. He probably will not lead the race after Stage 3. The rugged, 156-km ride from Marbella to Malaga, will feature two Category 1 ascents, the second of which will be only 27 km from the finish. In addition, the finish will be uphill. Who will win the stage? Who will take the overall lead? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!