Sunday August 20th, 2017

Stage 2Nîmes / Gruissan. Grand Narbonne. Aude

Start 12h43 (Local time)

Key moments

Quick-Step Floors dominated stage 2 of the 72nd La Vuelta through the wind. Yves Lampaert found an opening in the final kilometre to the finish line set at Gruissan. He snatched the victory just ahead of the sprinters… led by his teammate Matteo Trentin ahead of Adam Blythe (Aqua Blue Sport). The two riders from Quick-Step Floors also lead the general classification, with Daniel Oss (BMC) 3rd. Lampaert delivers the 17th La Vuelta stage victory for his team and is the first Belgian rider to...

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Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors): “It was super stressful from the start. Trek immediately put pressure and everyone was stressed the whole day. But in the end, it was perfect. Yves (Lampaert) showed in previous weeks he was in shape so it's great. Of course it gives us great confidence. We came with a super strong team. We were second yesterday, today we have the victory, it's quite special, especially for Yves. He deserved it a lot after working hard this season.”

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interview20.08.2017

Oss: "It was pretty strange"

Daniel Oss (BMC): “It was pretty strange. We expected this kind of nervous stage, with a lot of stress in the bunch. Then, you see there's no break and in the final it was pretty nervous and it was hard to do the good move. Personally, I was focused on the jersey, because we were a few guys in a short time. But, and the end, I was boxed and I couldn't do anything more than I did. Tomorrow it will be a completely different stage, maybe the time for climbers.”

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Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors): “We had to be wary all day long, it was mentally exhausting. There was no breakaway, we could see everyone was nervous. I just did my job. In the final, it was all for Matteo (Trentin). Then Yves Lampaert went super hard and when I saw him opening a gap I slowed down a bit. Yesterday, we were part of the best, and now we win in such a fashion… It's just great.”

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interview20.08.2017

Roche: "I'm disappointed"

Nicolas Roche (BMC): “You can't say the Quick-Step movement was a surprise. We knew something was going to happen. I was surprised by the time gaps. I didn't think there was going to be splits. This morning, we knew Quick Step were gonna lead the day. Actually, we thought Trentin was going to be the sprinter, but it was Lampaert. Today was a bit disappointing. I rode very well all day, coming into the sprint I was in the 13th, 14th position to be on the mix. Finally, I got caught up. I was...

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Adam Blythe (Aqua Blue Sport): “I think we all knew the echelons were coming. We discussed with the team to be at the front in last 2km and stay there. Quick-Step played a tricky game and I didn't have the legs. It's a shame I couldn't do more.”

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Yves Lampaert (Quick Step), winner of the 2nd stage and new red jersey: “We planned with the team that if we couldn't make echelons during the stage we would try in the last 10km. Niki (Terpstra) went full with 3km to go and then it was Alaphilippe. We were with a few guys in a break. After that, just before the roundabout, they shout at me: ‘Go, go, go!'. I knew I could ride 1km quite fast and I'm happy that I could make it to the finish. I don't realise that I'm leader of a Grand Tour....

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Newsflashes (Local time)

17:31Top 5

Results at Gruissan:

1. Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Floors)

2. Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors)

3. Adam Blythe (Aqua Blue Sport)

4. Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo)

5. Sacha Modolo (UAE Team Emirates)

17:28Lampaert also takes the red jersey

Time bonuses also grant the red jersey to Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step) one second ahead of Matteo Trentin! Daniel Oss (BMC) is third.

17:24Lampaert wins ahead of Trentin!

Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Floors) attacked with 1km to go and made it to the finish ahead of his teammate Matteo Trentin! Adam Blythe (Aqua Blue Sport) takes third.

17:23Flamme rouge, many splits

The peloton is in pieces after Quick-Step Floors' acceleration.

17:21Heading for the sprint

Only 2km to go!

17:19Final 5km

Ian Stannard (Sky) now sets the pace.

17:16The peloton splits

Team Sky set a very strong pace with 7km to go.

17:14Final 10km

The peloton is racing hard. On the way to a bunch sprint at Gruissan?

17:08Only 15km to go

The peloton is led by Team Sunweb through the city of Narbonne.

17:05Orica set the pace

Magnus Cort Nielsen's teammates are leading the peloton in the last 20km.

17:01Modolo: “People say there aren't many sprinters here…”

Sacha Modolo (UAE Team Emirates): “I came out of Poland feeling very well. You can study today's stage but in the end the wind will decide. If you're strong you have to stay at the front and that's it. People say there aren't many sprinters here… Maybe there are less top favourites but in reality there are more sprinters. No one is slow in cycling today. The difference with the other Grand Tours is lead-out trains are weaker.”

16:58Intermediate sprint

Results at Saint-Marcel-sur-Aude:

1. Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors)

2. Marco Haller (Katusha-Alpecin)

3. Daniel Oss (BMC)

Quick-Step Floors maintain a high pace with 25km to go.

16:52Strong acceleration from Katusha

Marco Haller (Katusha-Alpecin) sets a brutal pace with 30km to go.

16:50Moreno is out of La Vuelta

Javier Moreno (Bahrain-Merida) abandons La Vuelta after his crash.

16:40Heading to the intermediate sprint

The peloton is 39km away from the finish line. The intermediate sprint is set with 28.7km to go.

16:29Ait El Abdia abandons

Anass Ait El Abdia (UAE Team Emirates) had to withdraw from La Vuelta due to the crash he suffered with 60km to go.

16:28Headwind

The bunch is now heading straight into the wind with 46km to go. BMC, Sky, Katusha and LottoNL-Jumbo take the front positions.

16:23Peloton stops at a grade crossing

The peloton briefly stoped for a train.

16:20The last 50km

The peloton is more nervous than ever with 50km to go.

15:58Lobato: “Survive through the wind and do a good sprint”

Juanjo Lobato (LottoNL-Jumbo), one of the fastest men on paper, spoke to lavuelta.com, before the stage: “We hope to survive through the wind and do a good sprint. I've had La Vuelta on my mind for quite some time, I worked well to get there in a good shape and I'm also in a good place mentally. We all feel good in the team, with Steven (Kruijswijk) focusing on GC, and we hope to win some stage. Degenkolb, Modolo and Trentin could be in the...

15:49Mechanical for Froome

Chris Froome (SKY) stops on the side of the roads to change a wheel. Three teammates quickly get him back to the peloton. The pace has dropped.

15:43The peloton speeds up

Trek-Segafredo seems willing to try and split the peloton. About 20 riders are losing contact with 75km to go.

15:32Van Genechten: “Everyone expects echelons but I hope for a sprint”

Jonas Van Genechten (Cofidis), stage winner last year, spoke to official La Vuelta broadcaster Eurosport ahead of stage 2 : “The team time-trial isn't our strong suit, we knew it. It was a really technical course. We got quite a scare in the first kilometre and we decided to avoid any accident at the beginning of La Vuelta. We'd better lose a few seconds than someone from the team ahead of stage 2. It's going to be tense, leaders' teams will be nervous with the wind blowing from the side....

15:2090 km to go

The bunch sticks together with many teams trying to maintain themselves in the front positions: BMC, Trek-Segafredo, Bahrain-Merida, Team Sunweb, AG2R-La Mondiale....

15:10Contador: “The priority is to be up there for the GC”

Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) gets back to roads where he got trapped with echelons on the way to La Grande-Motte during the Tour de France 2009: “Those are not good memories, I prefer to think about the public's affection”, he told lavuelta.com. Today we'll need to be careful and then we'll see what happens along the stage. It's a day that could very well suit John (Degenkolb), but the priority is to be up there for the general...

15:04Halfway through the stage

The peloton is riding together throufh the feeding zone.

14:5144.9km/h

The average speed is still up to 44.9km/h after two hours of racing.

14:46Australians making history at La Vuelta

Rohan Dennis (BMC) is the first Australian rider to wear the red jersey since Michael Matthews (Orica-Scott) kept it for three days during La Vuelta 2014. This century, Cadel Evans (1 day in 2009) and Bradley McGee (4 days in 2005) were the only Aussies to have led La Vuelta previously.

La Vuelta has always been a place of success for Australian riders, who achieved there their first Grand Tour stage victory (Don Allan, 1975) and first top 10 overall finish (Gary Clively, 7th in...

14:30Froome: “It will split somewhere”

The peloton is still together after 80km but it won't last for the whole day according to Chris Froome (Sky), who spoke to lavuelta.com this morning: “I'm pretty happy with the time gaps of the TTT. Especially, if you look where the others GC contenders were, I think we can be happy with that. It feels great to be in France. It's strange to have French public and fans being at La Vuelta, but it's a nice change and we will be in Spain in a few days. Today, we will have to wait and see how...

14:21Still together

The bunch has now covered 72km.

14:11Crash

Riders from different teams are involved in a crash in the bunch, with riders from Cofidis, Astana and LottoNL-Jumbo hitting the deck after 65 km of racing. It seems they're all able to get back on their bikes.

14:04Perez: “When I was a kid, I was more interested in La Vuelta than the Tour”

Anthony Perez (Cofidis) spoke to lavuelta.com ahead of stage 2: "I'm happy with La Vuelta visiting the south of France. I live in Toulouse, two hours from here. La Vuelta has always been a dream for me because my grand-parents are from Spain, so is my father. They come from Jaen, in Andalucia. When I was a kid, I was more interested in La Vuelta than the Tour de France. I would go and watch the Tour because it happened in front of my house but La Vuelta had some mystic aura. I couldn't...

13:53Hard pace

The bunch has covered 46.3km in the first hour of racing from Nîmes.

13:44Temperature's rising

The peloton has already covered 44km with a temperature of 31°C.

Riders from FDJ, Bora-Hansgrohe and Astana all sustained a puncture. The rest of the peloton sticks together.

13:38Many teams at the front

BMC, Trek-Segafredo, Sky, Katusha, AG2R-La Mondiale... Many teams try to maintain their leaders in the front positions to try and avoid being trapped in echelons.

13:27Dennis: "Try to enjoy today as we much as we can with this crazy wind"

Rohan Dennis (BMC) already faced echelons on the previous occasion he led a Grand Tour, wearing the yellow jersey at Utrecht during the Tour de France 2015: “Leading a Grand Tour is always a special moment, more than on a one week tour, so we'll try to enjoy today as much as we can with this crazy wind that we'll probably have. Today is different than Utrecht. We decided not to close a gap that I could have because it was the best thing for Tejay with GC. Sometimes you have to play the...

13:13All together

No one managed to get away from the bunch after 24km of racing.

13:05Degenkolb: "We need to make sure Contador doesn't get dropped"

John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) told lavuelta.com his team would try to control the stage today: “We'll give it all to maintain Alberto (Contador) at the front, because you can lose a lot of time today with the wind. We need to make sure he doesn't get dropped. Obviously we'll look at the opportunity to fight for stage win at the end, and I hope we have a strong team to work together. We have a good shot at achieving a good result. Yesterday wasn't my best time-trial, but I guess it's...

12:55Trek-Segafredo set the pace

Alberto Contador's teammates are already at the front of the peloton to try and control the race.

12:52First attacks

Riders try to break away from the peloton 5km into the stage.

12:49It is on!

The peloton has made it to the proper start and the 198 riders participating in La Vuelta 2017 can now battle it out on the way to Gruissan.

12:44Wary for echelons

On the startline, the riders expressed their stress ahead of a windy stage along the coast. Winds around 35kp/h are expected in the finish area.

Marco Haller (Katusha-Alpecin) told lavuelta.com he'll focus on helping Ilnur Zakarin rather than pursuing personal ambitions: “I won't ride for the sprint, our only goal for La Vuelta is to get Ilnur Zakarin the best results possible. That's why I'm here and today will show it. It's a key stage and my job is to protect him. There will...

12:34Guillén: "A technical route, along the coast"

Javier Guillén, general director of La Vuelta, described stage 2 for lavuelta.com : “It's a long stage, with more than 200km. You could say it's a technical route, along the coast. The key factor today may be the wind but we hope everything follows a normal course. We want to focus on the sport and enjoy France, which is a true privilege.”

12:28Neutral start

The peloton of the 72nd La Vuelta is on the way to the proper start from Nîmes, with more than 200 windy kilometres on the way to Gruissan.

12:17Welcome

Here's the official live for stage 2 of La Vuelta 2017. The race will kick-off from Nîmes with the neutralized start set at 12:25. A parade will then lead the peloton to the proper start, set at 12:43. Then, the race will be on with 203.4km to reach Gruissan.

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