Volta a Catalunya (st. 2)
Valverde and Movistar Team out of pressure during a placid Volta’s stage two in Banyoles -except for the final crash, with no Blues involved- and look towards the summits of Vallter 2000 (Wednesday) and Port-Ainé (Thursday)
Differently from the stage on Monday, where a 13-rider split left Alejandro Valverde into a third place overall he’s still holding 24 houts later, the 2013 Volta a Catalunya did respect the script established for its second scene: a flat, 161-kilometer stage starting at Girona and finishing with a semi-urban, four-lap course in the city and lake of Banyoles. Race leader Gianni Meersman (OPQ) claimed his second stage win into a mass sprint where he beat Daniele Ratto (CAN) and Brett Lancaster (OGE), after the early, three-man breakaway was chased down into the second lap, 20k from the end of the race.
Movistar Team rode with calmness, avoiding any troubles -even the crash with 150m to go, with no consequences for those affected, including 2nd placed overall Valerio Agnoli (AST)- and getting well through an easy day before the two important mountain stages in the Pyrenees on Wednesday and Thursday. Vallter 2000 (HC, 12.2km, 7.8%) awaits tomorrow, at the end of an 180km trek starting and Vidreres and also including the Cat. 1 climbs of Sant Hilari and Collabós.