Arnaud Démare took stage two victory in awful weather conditions to make it two wins from two stages after Miles Scotson took the opening day.
Démare (Groupama-FDJ) had a perfect lead-out all the way to the line. Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) was in a perfect position sat on the French champion’s wheel but he just did not have the kick to get around and ended up finishing in third place behind Timothy Dupont (Bingoal-Pauwels Sauces) who finished with good speed.
The weather played a huge part today with riders wearing their rain jackets all the way to the line with everyone sprinting with them still on. The break used the conditions to their advantage as the multiple roundabouts in the closing kilometres but, in the end, the peloton pulled them back with three kilometres to go.
Scotson (Groupama-FDJ) holds onto his yellow jersey by a comfortable 32 seconds over John Degenkolb (Lotto-Soudal) after the Australian’s amazing solo effort on stage one.
But stage three is likely to see a big shakeup in the overall standings as the race goes climbing from Torrent to Alto de la Reina with a summit finish, the riders will be hoping the weather improves for it.
How it happened
The day started and finished in the city of Alicante and took on another relatively lumpy day that looked very similar to the opening stage. The 179km route did take in fewer climbs than the previous stage with a flatter run to the finish.
Five riders went away pulling out a maximum gap of around three and a half minutes. The break was made up of Ángel Madrazo (Burgos-BH), Robin Carpenter (Rally), Ibon Ruiz (Caja Rural), Xabier Mikel Azparren (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Brent van de Kerkhove (Tarteletto-Isorex).
The pace in the peloton was controlled by the French team Groupama-FDJ who were working for French champion, Démare. His team-mate, Scotson was riding on the front despite wearing the yellow jersey.
As the race entered the last 10km Groupama-FDJ were joined by Lotto-Soudal and Bongoal-Pauwels Sauces to bring the break back. The gap up to the break had dipped inside a minute shortly after they joined the chase.
Madrazo and Carpenter tried to stay away from the line but were brought back with 3km to go as the teams started to come together for the finish. Groupama-FDJ took full control into the final kilometre with Küng leading under the flamme rouge.
The French champion, Démare had five riders in front of him going into the final kilometre which each doing one huge turn before dropping off their sprinter in the perfect position. Nobody could get around the team as they strung the peloton out.
Groupama-FDJ also takes another day in the yellow jersey of the overall leader as Scotson finished safely in the peloton after working hard for Démare all day. He leads German sprinter, Degenkolb by 32 seconds and Alan Riou (Arkéa-Samsic) by 34 seconds going into the ‘queen’s stage’ from Torrent to Alto de la Reina tomorrow.
Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana 2021 stage two, Alicante to Alicante (179km)
1. Arnaud Démare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ, in 4-09-23
2. Timothy Dupont (Bel) Bingoal-Pauwels Sauces-Wallonie Bruxelles
3. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto-Soudal
4. Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis
5. Sebastan Mora (Esp) Movistar Team
6. Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Groupama-FDJ
7. Edwin Ávila (Col) Burgos-BH
8. Colin Joyce (USA) Rally Cycling
9. Felipe Orts (Esp) Burgos-BH
10. Gil d’Heygere (Bel) Tarteletto-Isorex, all at same time.
General classification after stage two
1. Miles Scotson (Aus) Groupama-FDJ, in 8-24-10
2. John Degenkolb (Ger) Lotto-Soudal, at 32 seconds
3. Alan Riou (Fra) Team Arkéa-Samsic, at 34s
4. Enric Mas (Esp) Movistar Team, at 35s
5. Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar Team, 36s
6. Victor Lafay (Fra) Cofidis, 37s
7. Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis, at 38s
8. Colin Joyce (USA) Rally Cycling
9. Matis Louvel (Fra) Team Arkéa-Samsic
10. Franck Bonnamour (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM, all at same time.