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Vuelta a Espana 2017: Yves Lampaert goes solo to take victory on Stage 2

Joe Robinson
20 Aug 2017

Quick-Step Floors rider Yves Lampaert races to stage victory into Gruissan on Stage 2 of the Vuelta a Espana

Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Floors) attacked late to take victory in Gruissan, Grand Narbonne, on Stage 2 of the Vuelta a Espana. Crosswinds within the final kilometre saw gaps appear instantly, with Quick-Step Floors presenting a masterclass of racing in echelons.

Lampaert managed to hold off a small chasing bunch to take the red jersey off of leader Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing). 

British rider Adam Blythe (Aqua Blue Sport) managed to take third on the day with Lampaert's team mate Matteo Trentin taking second. 

Back in the bunch, time splits occured with the peloton crossing the line in dribs and drabs. Vincenzo Nibali managed to finish in the front group, stealing eight seconds off of his fellow general classification riders. 

The likes of Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo), Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) and Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) lost time on their rivals, finishing 13 seconds behind winner Lampaert. 

How Stage 2 of the Vuelta a Espana unfolded

Stage 2 saw the peloton take on 201km from the Nimes, the scene of yesterday's team time trial, to Gruissan, Grand Narbonne. An innocuous route on paper, the threat of crosswinds loomed large amongst the race. 

A nervous start saw the race cover 46.7km in the first hour, with no break managing to form due to this fast pace. The speed eventually settled as the teams 

As the race ducked underneath the 100km mark, multiple teams mobbed the wide roads in anticipation of the possible crosswinds that could strike at any point. At points, the peloton resembled a spaghetti western as the riders watched each other closely at the front of the bunch. 

With 77km to go, injections of pace were made by Bahrain-Merida as the race entered a number of narrow towns. This strung the peloton out into single file failed to create any potential splits. 

The splits begun just a few kilometres down the road, when Trek-Segafredo took to the front, with a number of riders dropping from the peloton. However, with the bunch slowing, those once dropped chased back onto the main bunch. 

Chris Froome (Team Sky) found himself off the back momentarily with a mechanical fault but was quickly brought back by three teammates, just in time for Eurosport to show us how echelons work with Tron inspired graphics. 

A pinch point at the 60km mark led to a sizeable crash taking down multiple riders. The biggest victim of the crash was Javier Moreno (Bahrain-Merida), a key domestique for favourite Vincenzo Nibali, who abandoned. 

The highlight of the afternoon threatened to be a small crash between television motorbikes as they bottlenecked through one of the French villages littering the route.

As that race reached the final 36km, the threats of crosswinds subsided with a tailwind assisting the riders to the finish in Gruissan. However with intermediate sprint points on offer, an attack from Katusha-Alpecin within 30km offered some excitement. 

With speeds reaching 70km/h, the attention of the peloton sprung into life, with general classification riders such as Froome aware of the present danger. Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors) took the points and the three bonus seconds on offer. 

With the lack of sprinters at this edition of the Vuelta a Espana, the usual colour coordination of lead out trains was replaced with teams protecting their general classification interests close to the front. This manifested in an injection of pace from Team Sky that saw splits form at the back of the main bunch. 

The peloton took a final bend within the final few kilometres which acted as a platform for eventual winners Quick-Step Floors to launch an attack. Lampaert managed to eventually gain a gap within the final kilometre which he carried until the finish. 

Vuelta a Espana 2017 Stage 2: Nimes (FRA) - Gruissan (FRA), 201km, result

1. Yves Lampaert (BEL) Quick-Step Floors, 4:36:13
2. Matteo Trentin (ITA) Quick-Step Floors, at same time
3. Adam Blythe (GBR) Aqua Blue Sport, st
4. Edward Theuns (BEL) Trek-Segafredo, st
5. Sacha Modolo (ITA) UAE Team Emirates, st
6. Michael Schwarzmann (GER) Bora-Hansgrohe, st
7. Tom Van Asbroeck (NED) Cannondale-Drapac, st
8. Daniel Oss (ITA) BMC Racing, st
9. Patrick Konrad (GER) Bora-Hansgrohe, st
10. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) Bahrain Merida, st

Vuelta a Espana 2017: General Classification after Stage 2

1. Yves Lampaert (BEL) Quick-Step Floors, 4:52:07
2. Matteo Trentin (ITA) Quick-Step Floors, at 0:01
3. Daniel Oss (ITA) BMC Racing, at 0:03

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