Perfectly led out by his Etixx-Quick Step team-mates, Gianni Meersman surged in the final sprint to take the stage 2 laurels in Baiona on Sunday. The Belgian did not miss this rare chance offered to sprinters to win ahead of Germanys' Michael Schwarzmann (Bora Argon) and Dane Magnus Cort Nielsen (Orica-Bike Exchange). Fourth in this short 160.8-km ride from Ourense, former world champion Michal Kwiatkowski of Poland rid his Team Sky team-mate Peter Kennaugh of the race leader's red...
The stage in videos
- Onboard camera - Stage 2 (Ourense capital...
- Summary - Stage 2 (Ourense capital termal...
- Last kilometer / Ultimo kilómetro -...
From the springs to the Ocean
The Ourense landscape is dominated by the Miño grand canyon that follows the outline of very deep faults. All along the Miño are thermal springs with water carrying dissolved elements and with temperatures of 60ºC and over. Ourense has several thermal baths and thermal springs, such as the O'Tinteiro Spring and the Reza Spring, and baths such as those found in Muiño da Veiga, A Chavasqueira, Outariz, Da Burga de Canedo, As Burgas, etc.
From La Cañiza onwards, the hard granites have allowed for the formation of reliefs that rise up from the coastline. Some of these granites are particularly well-known, especially the pink ones from the Porriño area. This granite originated when, around 300 million years ago, Galicia was part of a mountain range formed by the collision of North America, Greenland, Europe and Africa. During that time, large magma chambers cooled down before rising to the surface and, upon solidification, these became large masses of granite. Also, the best-known rock in Galicia is, without a doubt, the gneiss “ollo de sapo” or “toad's eye”, known by this name all over the world due to the enormous feldspar crystals it contains.
It is fascinating to think that these granites, formed several kilometres deep, are now on the surface. But time and erosion are great allies: water and wind have been removing Galician rocks for millions of years, leaving the deepest rocks exposed.
The second part of the stage takes place along the Vigo Estuary, in front of the Cies Islands, that form part of the Atlantic Islands National Park. The formation of Galician estuaries is a long and fascinating history. It begins 100 million years ago, when Europe and America began to separate, and goes all the way up to the end of the Pleistocene era, around 12,000 years ago, when the sea level rose due to the melting of glaciers in the last glacial period. That entire period saw the formation of the river valleys that are, today, inundated by the ocean.
In Bayonne, near the end of the stage, the itinerary passes near the Monteferro (or Iron Mountain) Peninsula. The name comes from the iron-rich water springs that originate there. Thermal waters are also visible on some Galician landscapes.
Felspar. A mineral found frequently on the continental crust. Along with quartz and mica, it makes up the majority of granite rocks, metamorphic rocks and sand found all over the world.
Galician estuaries. Valleys formed by river erosion, then inundated by the sea.
Jersey wearers after the stage 21
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