Vuelta a España Stage 2: Thrilling Finale Reshuffles General Classification20. August 2017, Narbonne (FRA) — Road Team
A hectic finale on Vuelta a España stage 2 saw a shake up of the General Classification and Rohan Dennis relinquish his race lead after a strong team effort throughout the day ended with Daniel Oss trying his luck in the finale.
Strong crosswinds and echelons were predicted on the 203.4km stage which made it a battle for a breakaway to form in the first hour of racing.
Despite many attacks, the fast pace at the front of the bunch prevented a breakaway from forming as the race covered 46.3km in the first racing.
Race leader Dennis was well-protected by his BMC Racing Team teammates as the peloton remained together hour after hour.
Fortunately, BMC Racing Team’s riders weren’t caught in the two crashes that occurred and when small splits in the peloton formed with 75km to go, Dennis was surrounded by his teammates in the front selection.
Attacks came once again with 30km to go as the race entered a long, flat, and windy section, which saw Oss showing his strength to react to the moves.
The peloton fought to stay together and as they hit the 5km to go mark, splits began to form when Quickstep Floors upped the ante. Oss was quickly on the right wheels and made the selection as the group powered away in the closing kilometers of the race.
Under the flame rouge, Yves Lampaert (Quickstep Floors) attacked and created a gap that would be enough to take the stage win and inherit the red leader’s jersey from Dennis.
Oss crossed the line in eighth place which puts him in third place on the revised General Classification, three seconds behind Lampaert, with Tejay van Garderen, Nicholas Roche and Dennis in fourth to sixth place respectively, 17 seconds back.
Roche and Oss were back on the podium as leaders of the mountain and combination jersey ahead of stage 3.
“The stage was nervous from the start to the finish. Not one part of the race was relaxed where you felt like you could sit back in the peloton with no risk. I was hoping that Daniel Oss could take the jersey at the end of the stage so every now and then I tried to help him move up in the final 15km. In the end, the time bonus was taken by Quickstep Floors and we couldn’t do much about losing the jersey. Time loss isn’t a massive issue for me, it was more of a pride thing or not just sitting up and being lazy. I’m motivated to try and get a result in Andorra but the legs have to agree with what my head wants. It’s a tough stage and will be interesting how the GC guys ride it.”
“It was pretty strange. We were expecting this kind of nervous stage with lots of stress in the bunch. There was no breakaway and it was really hard in the final to make a good move. The team worked the whole stage and we stayed in the front which takes a lot of energy. Personally, I was focused on the red jersey. We were just a few guys in a short time. Quickstep did a good race in the final as I was alone and they put us in the box. As soon as they had the gap, the only thing we could do was to try and bring them back and get some bonus seconds for third place. I couldn’t have done anything better than what I did so I’m happy.”
“I knew something was going to happen today but I was surprised by the gaps as I didn’t think there would be any. Today was a bit disappointing. I rode very well the whole day and then just coming into the sprint, I was in 30 or 40th position and got caught out. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s stage. I’ve done almost all of the climbs before and they’re very hard. Andorra is always typically the stage everybody looks forward to and that everybody is a bit worried about. Sometimes it’s easier for GC guys to manage uphill finishes, whereas finishes at the bottom are a bit more of a cat and mouse game. With the technical descents, it’s a bit more tactical too and not just about the legs.”
Vuelta a España
Stage 2 Nimes > Narbonne (203.4km)
Top 3: 1. Yves Lampaert (Quickstep Floors), 2. Matteo Trentin (Quickstep Floors), 3. Adam Blythe (Aqua Blue Sport).
BMC Racing Team top 3: 8. Daniel Oss, 41. Tejay van Garderen, 42. Nicolas Roche
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.