The second stage of the Vuelta a Espana rolled through 173.7 kilometers (108 miles) of somewhat hilly terrain between Alcala de Guadaira and Marbella – yet it was a still a stage favored by the sprinters. It was another hot day with temperatures reaching over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Coming off of last night’s Stage 1 team time trial win, HTC-Columbia rider Mark Cavendish started the day in the camiseta roja – the red leader jersey. The Dish is a sprinter and was a favorite to win today’s stage. Other favorites were Lampre’s Alessandro “Attacki” Petacchi and Garmin-Transition’s Tyler Farrar.
Early on a four-man group broke away from the main peloton only to be reeled in at 9 km to go. The breakaway was Andalucia Cajasur’s Javier Ramirez, Cofidis’ Mickael Buffaz , Footon-Servetto’s Johnnie Walker and Omega Pharma-Lotto’s Mickael Delage. Buffaz crashed somewhere in the interim and broke his collarbone, thus becoming the first rider to abandon the race.
A bunch sprint at the end had Farrar pulling away from the pack with the Dish on his wheel, yet it was the white and blue of Francaise des Jeux rider Yauheni Hutarovich that crossed the line first. The Belorussian Hutarovich spoke in an interview on VeloNews about his win:
“Sure, it was a little bit of a surprise – it’s my third grand tour and it’s just my first grand-tour stage victory,” Hutarovich said. “I wanted to come here to win a stage, so of course I am very content.
“I couldn’t believe when I was going to win – I could see Cav’ had some problems in his sprint. I saw it was my moment and I went 100 percent.”
Stage 3 on Monday will have racers going 156 km (97 miles) from Marbella to Malaga.
– Hutarovich sprayed his podium champagne all over the podium girls – at least the Tour de France is a bit more respectable to women and doesn’t allow this kind of debauchery.
Stage 2 standings:
1) HUTAROVICH, Yauheni – Francaise des Jeux: 4:35:31
2) CAVENDISH, Mark – HTC-Columbia
3) FARRAR, Tyler – Garmin-Transitions
4) PETACCHI, Alessandro – Lampre
5) ARDOSO,Manuel Antonio Lea – Footon- Servetto
1) CAVENDISH, Mark – HTC-Columbia: 4:49:35
2) SIVTSOV, Kanstantsin – HTC-Columbia: + 12″
3) VELITS, Peter – HTC-Columbia: + 12″
4) VAN GARDEREN, Tejay – HTC-Columbia: + 12″
5) GOSS, Matthew Harley – HTC-Columbia: + 12″