Vuelta a Espana Stage 2: Crash-Marred Bunch Sprint in Baiona21. August 2016, Baiona (ESP) — Road Team
The peloton enjoyed a slow day in the saddle on stage 2 of the Vuelta a Espana which eventually came down to a crash-marred bunch sprint with Jempy Drucker crossing the line in ninth place.
A three-rider breakaway went clear in the first 10km of racing to maintain a maximum lead of three minutes in front of the Team Sky-controlled peloton.
The stage lacked any excitement until Philippe Gilbert launched an attack with 39km remaining, to bridge to the breakaway and keep the group in front for the next 25km, also taking the only intermediate sprint of the day and gaining three bonus seconds.
With the sprinters’ teams chasing hard the breakaway was reeled in with 15km to go, making way for a hectic sprint finish with two small crashes in the final 5km. Drucker was caught behind the first of the crashes but managed to bring himself back towards the front and hang on for ninth place.
Gilbert had a trip to the podium after taking the intermediate sprint today and now sits in 13th place on the general classification leading into a tough stage 3
Quotes from the Finish Line
“The speed was pretty slow the whole day and it was really annoying for us. I was thinking in the ten kilometers before of attacking, and then I asked on the radio if I could try something. They said I should try and go as far away from the bunch and then try to go for the intermediate sprint. You never know, it’s a three second bonus and I’m still up there on GC. Even if tomorrow is really hard, I think it might be too hard for me, it’s good to be able to try something at the end of the race, it’s always better like that. There are multiple stages that suit me so I’ll definitely try something on other days too.”
Valerio Piva, Sports Director:
“It was clear that this stage was one for a sprinter. We don’t have the world’s best sprinter here but we have a lot of guys with ambition, including Jempy Drucker. From the beginning we could see that the peloton wouldn’t let a big breakaway go away so only three riders made it in there. Team Sky controlled it immediately and then later Trek-Segafredo and Giant-Alpecin. Philippe Gilbert attacked which wasn’t planned but he felt good. It was a nice move and he took three bonus seconds for the GC which is good for the next day. Maybe he’ll have a chance to take the red jersey, but the first objective is of course to win the stage. Jempy was unfortunately alone in the sprint because of the crashes and he wasn’t able to have a good position in the sprint. He finished ninth but I think he’ll have other opportunities in the next three weeks.”
Vuelta a Espana
Stage 2: Ourense > Baoina (160.8km)
Top 3: Gianni Meersman (Etixx-Quick Step), Michael Schwarzmann (Bora-Argon 18), Magnus Cort Nielsen (ORICA-BikeExchange)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 9. Jempy Drucker, 35. Samuel Sanchez, 49. Ben Hermans
BMC Racing Team Top 3 on GC: 13. Philippe Gilbert, 19. Samuel Sanchez, 20. Darwin Atapuma