Vuelta a España • Stage2

Benidorm - Calp
Vuelta a España - 25 August 2019

Vuelta a España – Follow this cycling race live with Eurosport. The action starts at 11:20 on 25 August 2019. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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And yes, it's a two-second advantage for Nico Roche over Quintana in the new top 10. Roche in red!


Today's top 10.


It was Primoz Roglic who took third behind winner Quintana and second-placed Roche.


Nico Roche (Team Sunweb) takes second place and secures the red jersey. Or could it be Quintana - because he'll pocket 10 seconds and his gap was 5 seconds... and he trailed the summit by 16 seconds overnight...


Victory for Nairo Quintana of Movistar!


Under the flamme rouge - and Quintana is going to win this...


Nieve almost loses it on a roundabout! Somehow the Spaniard manages to save himself from hitting the deck. But he's off the back now. Uran and Roche have been caught but Quintana is still out ahead.


Roche leads the chase, with Uran in pursuit. Roglic, Aru and Nieve seem to have nothing left in the tank.


QUINTANA ATTACK! Extraordinary stuff from the Colombian who dances clear with panache - that was unexpected as it was authoritative.


It's Roglic and Uran who are driving the pace, with Kelderman, Nieve and Aru on the back, and Quintana in the middle.


The gap is up to 37 seconds - so those 40 seconds Roglic lost yesterday have virtually been wiped out.


There's a 10-second bonus at the finish (and 6 and 4 for second and third) and so it's not necessarily Roche who will be in red, for he leads Uran by only 2 seconds.


Formolo and Lopez are leading the chase but the gap is stretching again. It's up to 30 seconds now.


Still 22 seconds for the leaders as they tackle this descent down into Calpe.


The gap is up to 20 seconds now. They're working well together and it looks like they'll stay out with Roche moving into the red jersey.


Roche could be in red tonight if he wins or this six-man group stays out ahead. He's just 5 seconds down on GC but none of the riders ahead of him are in the mix.


The chasers are: Ion Izagirre, Miguel Ángel López (Astana Pro Team), Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team), Rafal Maja, Davide Formolo (Bora-Hansgrohe), George Bennett (Jumbo-Visma), Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott), Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb), Álex Aranburu (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Sergio Higuita (EF Education First), Pierre Latour (Ag2r La Mondiale), Víctor de la Parte (CCC Team), Jesús Herrada (Cofidis) and Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates). The third group is a further 40-odd seconds back.


15km left and just 15 seconds for the leaders. It's going to be tight.


Here's how the race was blown apart on the Cumbre del Sol.

Video - 'Look at the damage being inflicted!' - Riders wilt on daunting climb


The gap is 14 seconds for the leaders. They still have a little uncategorised hill ahead of the downhill run to the finish.


It's a stellar group ahead: Quintana, Uran, Nieve, Roglic, Roche and Aru.


Roglic is also there in this leading group of six. They have about 12 seconds.


Six riders have gone clear now - including Uran and Roche.


This leading group of about 25 riders have 45 seconds on a chasing group.


Poels and Kruijswijk were also tailed off on the climb - so it's the Tour de France riders who are feeling the pinch out there.


Latour rides clear on the start of the descent. He's dyed his hair blonde ahead of the race - will he get the chance to show it off on the podium?


Latour with another attack, marked by Valverde and Bennett. It's the world champion who takes the points over the summit to comfirm that Madrazo will be in polka dots tonight.


Valverde and Formolo are leading with Lopez and the other favourites tucked in. They're into the final kilometre of this climb. Jakob Fuglsang appears to have been dropped, along with all the sprinters.


The gaps are huge with riders all over this climb. Now it's Alejandro Valvarde who is in the lead with his Movistar teammate Nairo Quintana also prominent, and Lopez in red.


Davide Formolo has come to the front with Pierre Latour on the steep double-digit ramp. At the back, riders galore have been dropped.


We're onto the Cat.2 Alto de Puig Llorenca / Cumbre del Sol (3.3km at 9.5%). And it's blown apart!


It's all over for lone leader Sander Armee of Lotto Soudal. The climb is coming right up and Jumbo-Visma are in the lead.


Armee just holds on to 'win' the intermediate sprint with a handful of seconds over the chasing pack.


Just 18 seconds now for Armee. The other escapees have been caught.


Ion Izagirre picked up a flat and is currently being paced back into the fold by his Astana teammate Manuele Boaro. Armee's advantage is down to 40 seconds with the other escapees somewhere in between.


There's the small matter of the intermediate sprint before the final climb - and there are some bonus seconds up for grabs. The gap is one minute back to the peloton as Jumbo-Visma, Astana and Ineos come to the front.


ATTACK: Sander Armee is the first rider to cast the die. The Belgian dances clear of the other escapees, with Madrazo tailed off a little after being caught out.


Movistar and Jumbo-Visma are on the front of the pack as it passes through the finish area ahead of the final loop. They've knocked off the pace a little to avoid catching the escapees too early. The gap is 1'15".


The four leaders are back on the Costa Brava now and passing through the finish at Calpe ahead of the loop that will take them up the final climb of the Cumbre del Sol. The gap is down to 1'30".


The gap is fairly stable for the four leaders: 3'10" as the inevitable chase gets closer.


Bora have now committed two riders to the front of the pack ahead of the Astana train as the advantage of the four escapees comes down to 2'40". We have that key climb of the Cumbre del Sol coming up in about 35km.


Just three minutes now for our four leaders. The Burgos-BH kit - an all-purple affair with red sleeves - is hands down the nastiest in the peloton. It's no wonder Madrazo is keen on the polka dot jersey.


The gap is 4'15" for the four leaders. They are: Jonathan Lastra (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Willie Smit (Katusha-Alpecin), Sander Armée (Lotto Soudal) and Angel Madrazo (Burgos-BH).


With more than 3,000m of climbing today, it's hardly your usual opening-day sprinters' stage. The last time a break went the distance on the first road stage of a Vuelta was back in 1993 apparently. So, good luck to those four riders out ahead... They have 4'20".


The average speed over the first three hours today has been 34.7km/h.


Italy's Dario Cataldo (Astana) is in green even though there is no official leader in the points classification. Lopez leads the youth standings, too, but the white jersey today is James Knox of Deceuninck-QuickStep after the Belgian team came second in the opening TTT.


The rear of the peloton comes to a standstill after the road narrows on an uphill rise. It's relentlessly up and down here - and very, very dry. The gap is 4'35" as the race snakes its way through olive groves.


Talking of Bora... (apologies in advance).

Video - Inside Bora Hansgrohe: How many team members needed to put on skinsuit?


Bora-Hansgrohe have shown their hand now as they send a man on the front to help lead the chase. They'll hope to set up Sam Bennett for the win despite that climb near the finish. The gap is down to 4'25" with 100km remaining.

Team Astana rider Colombia's Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (C) rides ahead of the start of the second stage of the 2019 La Vuelta cycling tour of Spain, a 199,6 km race from Benidorm to Calpe

The gap is down to a Charlotte Gainsbourg-esque 5'55".


And here's the break...


A sneak peak at our race leader...


Angel 'McLovin' Madrazo, our polka dot jersey elect, is apparently nicknamed El Gorrion, which means House Sparrow. I'm not sure why. If you know, let me know @Saddleblaze on Twitter.


The roads are rolling now, rising gradually before dropping gently towards the final climb. The gap is 6'20" back to the peloton.


It's worth mentioning that Jonathan Lastra is the virtual red jersey on the road. He entered this stage the best placed rider of these four escapees. He's 40 seconds clear of Smit, 45 seconds clear of Madrazo and 1'20" ahead of Armee.


The jury is out on Wiggo's yellow shorts...


In fact, the only way Armee can deny Madrazo the polka dot jersey today is if the Belgian takes maximum points over the summit of the final climb with the Spaniard failing to get any.


Confirmation that it was Madrazo who took the maximum 3pts over the summit of the Alto de Benilloba. The Spaniard is on track to wear the race's first blue polka dot jersey.


Armee may have won a stage on the Vuelta but that's the 33-year-old's only pro win. Smit and Lastra are winless, while Madrazo has two scalps to his name - stage 4 of the Etoile de Bessegres in 2016 and the little-known Prueba Villafranca-Ordiziako Klasika race in 2015, where he beat Ion Izagirre and Amets Txurruka in a three-up sprint.


This is 26-year-old Willie Smit's maiden Grand Tour for Katusha. Lastra, also 26, is riding his second Vuelta - he rode last year, with his highest finish being eighth. Fellow Spaniard Madrazo is riding his fourth Vuelta. His first was for Movistar in 2011 then he rode two for Caja Rural in 2015 and 2016. His highest stage placing is 7th from his first appearance.


Here's how Armee won that stage two years ago.

Sorry, this video is no longer available


One of the four leaders is a stage winner on the Vuelta: Sander Armee won Stage 18 of the 2017 Vuelta after dropping Alexey Lutsenko on the final rise to Santo Toribio de Liebana.


The leaders are over the top of the climb and on the descent. Still waiting on confirmation of the allocation of KOM points.


And now Lastra has joined the leaders so we have four our ahead at last: Jonathan Lastra (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Willie Smit (Katusha-Alpecin), Sander Armée (Lotto Soudal) and Angel Madrazo (Burgos-BH). They're approaching the summit of the climb with almost seven minutes to play with.


South African Willie Smit has dropped Jonathan Lastra and caught the two leaders on the climb, so we have three out ahead now. Lastra is about 40 seconds back.


Our two leaders have completed the descent and are onto the second climb, the Cat.3 Alto de Benillobo (6.4km at 4.2%). They have 1'08" on the two chasers and almost seven minutes on the pack.


Thanks to Procyclingstats we now know that it was Angel Madrazo who took the maximum 5pts over the top of the Cat.2 Puerto de Confrides. So he's currently in pole position for the polka dot jersey.


This being the Vuelta, there are currently no TV images and the updates from the race via the official platforms are very sporadic. As such, we don't know who went over the summit in pole position, but we do know that the two leaders are mid-way through the descent with a lead of 1'28" over the two chasers and 6'38" over the peloton.


Madrazo and Armee aren't making it easy for the two chasers - probably because it would comprimise each of their polka dot jersey ambitions. They're approaching the summit now with a gap of one minute on the duo behind. The peloton is almost six minutes in arrears.


Today's final climb, the Cat.2 Alto de Puig Llorenca - also known as the Cumbre del Sol - is just 3km but has an average gradient of 9.5% so it should blow the peloton apart and sink most of the sprinters. So, expect some kind of reduced finish today - it surely won't be a bunch affair.


Our two leaders - Madrazo and Armee - are nearing the end of a flat mid-section of this long climb. The gradient has been very gentle for the past five or so kilometres but things ramp up a little bit from here to the summit. They still lead the chasers - Lastra and Smit - by 40 seconds. The pack is now being controlled by the turquoise jerseys of Astana, whose Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez is in red.


Armée and Madrazo have 30 seconds on two chasers, Jonathan Lastra (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Willie Smit (Katusha Alpecin). The pack is now at 2'20" and so it looks like these four riders will eventually form the day's break.


There's been a crash in the peloton involving two Mitchelton-Scott riders - Luka Mezgec and Dion Smith - who are receiving attention from the medical car.


We're onto the Cat.2 Puerto de Confrides (20.4km at 3.6%). It's the first categorised climb of the Vuelta and two riders have zipped off the front - that man Madrazo, who was in the earlier break, and Sander Armee (Lotto Soudal). They're clearly motivated by the polka dot jersey.


Some on-board footage from yesterday - including a rider's eye view of one of those big crashes...

Video - Crazy speeds and time-trial drama - on-board footage from Stage 1


It's all back together. The break managed to stretch its lead to around 17 seconds before José Herrada (Cofidis) bridged over. But then the peloton reeled the move in. The first climb is about to start - and it's a whopper of over 20km. Such a Vuelta way to start the Vuelta.


Mickael Delage (Groupama-FDJ), Angel Madrazo (Burgos-BH), Gonzalo Serrano (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Fernando Barcelo (Euskadi-Murias) form the first break of the Vuelta after around 5km.


It's a sunny day on the Costa Brava with the mercury pushing 30 degrees.


They're off!


There was a minute's silence in memory of Lotto Soudal's Bjorg Lambrecht today ahead of the neutral start. The Belgian rider was killed in a crash during the Tour de Pologne a fortnight ago.


This is the 23rd time Benidorm has hosted the start of a stage on the Vuelta. The Costa Brava resort twice hosted the start of the race, in 1964 and 1987. It also hosted the world championships in 1992, won by Gianni Bugno, who is now the president of the CPA riders' association.


Here's what's store for the riders today.

Video - La Vuelta profile stage 2


Jumbo-Visma were not the only team to hit the deck on that wet corner. It was not caught by the TV cameras, just by a spectator, but almost the entire UAE Team Emirates squad of Fabio Aru and Fernando Gaviria skidded out at top speed, too. They finished second to last at 1'07".


Slovenia’s Primoz Roglic and Dutchman Steven Kruijswijk - two of the big pre-race favourites - were among five riders from the eight-man Jumbo-Visma team who hit the deck on a tight bend after an unexpected patch of water on the road.

Video - 'Oh no! This is a disaster!' - Favourites Jumbo-Visma wiped out in time trial crash


Hola and welcome to live coverage of Stage 2 of the Vuelta a Espana - a hilly 199.6km schlep from Benidorm to Calpe which features three categorised climbs ahead of a flat finish. It remains to be seen if the sprinters can hold on to contest the spoils or if a break will go the distance.