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23/08/15 - 11:36
Alhaurín de la Torre - Caminito del Rey
Vuelta a España • Stage2

Alhaurín de la Torre - Caminito del Rey

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Result: 1. Chaves, 2. Dumoulin +1, 3. Roche +9, 4. Martin +14, 5. Rodriguez +26. 6. Quintana +26, 7. Froome +30, 8. Valverde +31, 9. Moreno +31, 10. Aru +37.


Roche takes third, then Martin, then Quintana and Rodriguez, before Froome leads a trio including Valverde and Moreno over the line 26 seconds down. Aru is next up to complete the top ten as the riders come home in drips and drabs...


Dumoulin has nothing left in the tank and it's Esteban Chaves who takes the stage win for Orica-GreenEdge!


It's now Chaves vs Dumoulin for the win...


Now it's Roche who puts in a dig - but he looks like death on this steep kicker. Chaves and Dumoulin soar past. Martin has caught Quintana.


Quintana may take time from his GC rivals but he's about eight seconds behind the leading trio, being led by his Compatriot Chaves.


Quintana looks to be tiring as Chaves drives the pace. Chaves looks for help from Dumoulin and Roche but they're doing nothing. Quintana is dropping back.


News that Mikel Landa has been dropped by the main pack. But it's Chaves who has joined the leaders and rides on the front, with Roche, Dumoulin and Quintana behind. Martin still chases.


Meintjes has been dropped so it's now a leading trio with Quintana dictating the tempo. Dan Martin and Ruben Chaves have attacked from the pack.


So we have a four-man group of Quintana, Roche, Meintjes and Dumoulin - but the gap is very small, just 25 metres.


Gautier is swept up after Quintana's move forces a selection on the front - and there's a Giant Alpecin rider, Tom Dumoulin, who has used this as a springboard. Roche and Meintjes in pursuit for Sky and MTN.


Attack from Quintana!


GHautier is making no in-roads despite his huge effort. He has just 10 metres to play with, although it's beginning to extend...


First attack comes from Europcar's Cyril Gautier. The Frenchman is leaving Europcar at the end of the season... can he sign off with a bang?


Here we go - we're onto the final climb and we're about to see some fireworks.


They're approaching the foot of the final climb - and it's Tinkoff-Saxo and GreenEdge on the front.


Orica-GreenEdge are there now, with polka dot jersey Cameron Meyer setting the tempo. That's odd - I could have sworn it was Martijn Keizer of LottoNL-Jumbo who received the KOM jersey yesterday in Marbella...


Now it's Movistar who have taken the reins, with Cannondale-Garmin and Tinkoff-Saxo edging forward. Geraint Thomas is posed for Sky, too.


It's Katusha's Alberto Losada and Angel Vicioso who drive the pace on the front of the pack. They'll be hoping to set up either Rodriguez or Dani Moreno for the win today.


Goncalves has been caught as Katusha, Movistar and Sky all drive the pace. They're going uphill ahead of a short and sharp descent to the foot of the final climb.


Nibali, the 2010 Vuelta champion, is back in the peloton after his frantic chase back on. He was involved in that big pile up that ended the race for Niemiec and Tanner.


Just 10 seconds now for lone leader Jose Goncalves, who has done remarkably well to stay out for so long.


Nibali has upgraded Zeits for some team car drafting - so he's approaching the back of the peloton now. Big relief for the Italian national champion.


Nibali has Andrey Zeits helping to pace him back but they're still quite far behind the main pack, which many will argue broke an unwritten rule by upping the tempo. Then again, Nibali profitted from a mechanical incident involving Chris Froome during the Tour so it's a case of swings and roundabouts really.


Peter Sagan, who was caught out by the crash, is over five minutes down when he ambles through the intermediate sprint at Alora.


David Tanner (IAM Cycling) and Przemyslaw Niemiec (Lampre-Merida) have both abandoned the race after that horror smash. Fingers crossed for a swift recovery to them both.


Valverde pips Rodriguez for second place in the intermediate sprint, which the contested. Very interesting as they lay down an early marker in the green jersey competition. Nibali is still fighting back on with an Astana team-mate. They have Salvatore Puccio of Team Sky in tow as well as Sylvain Chavanel. Nibali is over a minute back.


The break has been caught by the pack following the increase in pace. One of the escapees still rides clear - Jose Goncalves of Caja Rural takes the intermediate sprint at Alora. He has about 30 seconds over the pack.


Vincenzo Nibali has three Astana team-mates helping pace him back - but they're over a minute behind the peloton now.


Despite the crash there's no letting up on the front of the pack, with Katusha and Movistar still driving a fierce pace. The incident hit the second two thirds of the peloton and came when the pace was very high. We think it's David Tanner of IAM who is being put on a stretcher - but that's yet to be confirmed.


Another crash - and it's Marcus Burghardt of BMC who hits the deck in a separate incident.


IAM Cycling will certainly lose their second ride today - we still don't know who it is, but he's been put in a neck brace and the ambulance has drawn up alongside.


Nibali has to wait a long time for a bike change there and he'll have a long fight back to join the peloton. More worryingly for Astana, their veteran Paolo Tiralongo is very bloodied. Poland's Przemyslaw Niemiec is on the side of the road and very dazed, while IAM Cycling have another rider hurt. Remember they have already lost Matteo Pelucchi to injury following an earlier crash.


CRASH: There's a big pile-up in the peloton and that has caused chaos. Numerous riders are down and even more are held up - including Peter Sagan, the green jersey, and Vincenzo Nibali.


It's worth pointing out that Cannondale-Garmin's Joe Dombrowski set a Strava record on the final climb a couple of days ago...


The gap is down to 1:45 for the six escapees. The pace will start to increase now in the final hour of racing, what with that all-important final climb on the horizon. In between now and then we have the intermediate sprint - and there is also talk of some team buses blocking the road following an incident on the final climb.


The final rider in this six-man group is Dutchman Bert-Jan Lindeman, who is riding his second Vuelta after a maiden appearance in 2012. The 26-year-old has three pro wins to his name, including the overall in the 2014 Tour de l'Ain, in which he won the third stage.


Pedraza is riding only his second Grand Tour having ridden the 2008 Vuelta for Tinkoff Credit Systems. The 33-year-old joined Team Colombia this year after six years riding at Continental level. He has no pro wins to his name - but now, perhaps, a polka dot jersey.


Villella darts out of the saddle near the summit but it's Team Colombia's Walter Pedraza who takes the points - and with it, in all likelihood, the polka dot jersey from the shoulders of Dutchman Martijn Keizer (who curiously won the jersey for LottoNL-Jumbo during yesterday's flat team time trial).


The leaders are onto the Cat.3 Alto de Ardales (5km at 4.4%) - the first categorized climb of the Vuelta.


The break's second Portuguese rider, Jose Goncalves of Caja Rural - Seguros RGA is riding his first Grand Tour at the age of 26. Goncalves enters the Vuelta in fine form after a win in stage 5 of the Volta a Portugal a fortnight ago.


The Lampre-Merida rider in the break is not actually Przemyslaw Niemiec bnut Nelson Oliviera. It's a funny one because it appears the Portuguese rider is wearing his Polish counterpart's 107 bib number - unless the official start list is incorrect. This is 26-year-old Oliviera's second appearance in the Vuelta, and he's still in search of his first pro win.


Youngster Davide Villella makes his debut in the Vuelta for Cannondale-Garmin, the 24-year-old Italian having ridden the last two Giro d'Italias. Villella has no pro wins to his name but he's a talented climber of whom his team have high hopes.


Let's take a closer look at the break. Italy's Matteo Montaguti (Ag2R-La Mondiale) is riding his fourth Vuelta and is still in search of a stage win. In fact, his only pro wins came in the lowly Giro della Provincia di Reggio Calabria in 2010, where the 31-year-old won the opening stage and GC.


The Katusha team of Joaquim Rodriguez have joined Movistar on the front of the pack to lead the chase. It's a great road surface - new, black and wide - as some riders take advantage of the quite slow pace to answer a call of nature. The gap is down to 2:30 for the six escapees.


Dan Martin could be the kind of rider to pop up and take the win today. The Irishman, who is leaving Cannondale-Garmin at the end of the season, spoke to the Vuelta's official website this morning before the start: "On paper it's a stage that would suit me well with a finale that I like. But I don't know if my form will be good enough. For me today, the favourites will be Fabio Aru or Daniel Moreno, riders who have not done the Tour and prepared especially for this."


David Moncoutie, who won four stages in the Vuelta during his career as well as four successive king of the mountain titles, is predicting this tactic will come off for Movistar, with a win for their veteran climber Valverde...


The average speed for the first hour of racing today was 41.2km/h - down to 40.3km/h in the second hour once the break was established and settled.


The Movistar team of Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde are leading the chase on the front of the peloton, with Chris Froome's Sky team-mates tucked in just behind. The gap is still stable at three minutes.


Here's a picture of the finish today at Caminito del Rey - it's one of nine entirely new summit finishes being unveiled in this year's Vuelta. Peter Sagan played down his chances of winning after the punchy uphill finish, but Eurosport's head of cycling certainly thinks he could spring a surprise...


News in that Matteo Pelucchi (IAM Cycling) abandoned after struggling following that early crash today. Heartbreak for the Italian, who was in fine form after some stage wins in the Tour of Poland and would have featured in some of the bunch sprints.


The gap for the six leaders is just over three minutes. Of the riders, 35-year-old Polish climber Przemyslaw Niemiec is the most experienced - and he picked up a stage win last year in the Vuelta at Lagos de Covadonga.


Here's a more detailed profile to today's stage.


A quick look back at the early action today: Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) picked up an early puncture, an out-of-sorts Matteo Pelucchi (IAM Cycling) was dropped early after a crash but managed to fight back, and then the break formed after 25km of racing.


There's been a crash in the peloton with Americans Andrew Talansly (Cannondale-Garmin) and David Tanner (IAM Cycling) among those affected.


We pick up the action with a break of six riders more than three minutes up the road. They are: Przemyslaw Niemiec (Lampre-Merida), Davide Villella (Cannondale-Garmin), Walter Pedraza (Team Colombia), Bert Jan Lindeman (LottoNL-Jumbo), José Gonçalves (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Matteo Montaguti (Ag2r-La Mondiale).


On another hot day in southern Spain, the peloton rolled out of the start town at 12:40 UK time.


Today's stage features two Cat.3 climbs including the final sharp 2.5km rise to the finish. Could we see the GC men come out and play from the outset?


Hello and welcome to live coverage of stage two of the Vuelta a Espana - and after yesterday's damp squib of a neutralised team time trial (won by BMC), the race starts properly with a 159km ride that concludes with the first of nine summit finishes in this year's demanding Vuelta.