Valverde Takes Stage 2 Of Tour of Catalunya With Impey & McCarthy Hot On His Heels
Movistar's Alejandro Valverde moved into the overall lead of the Tour of Catalunya after a surprise sprint victory in Stage 2.
The 37-year-old timed his sprint to perfection as a reduced peloton finished into a headwind, with the Spaniard pipping Daryl Impey and Jay McCarthy to the line.
Valverde already has two Tour of Catalunya titles to his name and Tuesday's win leaves him well placed to add to that haul when the race enters the mountains later in the week.
"We spent the whole day at the front of the bunch because of the strong winds, which could have caused some splits as we saw in previous years," Valverde told reporters after his win.
"After the break was caught, a window opened for us to go chase the bonus seconds, so we went for them. However, it wasn't on the team's plans to aim for the stage win, not at all. It was just that Scott got through the final climb at a really strong pace, and with the bunch strung out and many sprinters dropping, it was easier for us to seek for a good position into the main field - that was where we chose to go for the win.
"The finish was slightly uphill - I knew it well, and I kept in mind that it was good for me - and the work by José Joaquín from the summit of the climb was phenomenal, he kept me at the front at all times. I've won here in Valls with a solo attack, into a sprint... It's always beautiful to take a victory in this town."
Moving to second overall after his second podium in as many days, Aussie Jay McCarthy thanked teammates for their tireless support.
"I was on the 4th wheel, as we came out of the last corner but unfortunately the sprint was too long for me to go for the victory," he said. "Valverde and Impey were able to pass me on the final metres. I am looking forward to help Gregor and Davide in the upcoming mountain stages.”
- Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar
- Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott
- Jay McCarthy (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe
- Egan Bernal (Col) Team Sky
- Matej Mohorič (Slo) Bahrain-Merida
- Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
- José Joaquín Rojas (Esp) Movistar
- Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Team Sky
- Toms Skujiņš (Lat) Trek-Segafredo
- Alex Howes (USA) EF Education First-Drapac