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

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.

0km

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...

0km

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

0.5km 

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

0.8km 

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.

1km

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

1.5km

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.

1.8km 

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.

2km 

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.

2.5km 

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

2.8km

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.

3km

Attack from Quintana!

3.5km

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

4km

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?

4.5km

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

5km 

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

6km

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...

7km

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

8km

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.

10km 

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.

11km

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.

12km

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

13km

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.

15km

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.

16km

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

17km

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.

18km

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.

20km

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.

22km

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

25km 

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.

27km

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

28km

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.

30km

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.

31km

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.

32km

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

35km

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.

40km

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.

42km

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.

45km

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).

50km

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

52km

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.

55km

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.

60km

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.

62km

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.

65km

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.

70km

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."

72km

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...

75km

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.

80km

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.

85km

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...

88km

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.

90km

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.

92km

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

95km

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.

100km

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

105km

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).

159km

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

13:45

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?

13:30

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.