2012 Vuelta a España: John Degenkolb Sprints to Victory in Stage 2
German sprinter John Degenkolb took the honours on stage two of the Vuelta as he outsprinted Orica-GreenEdge's Allan Davis and Team Sky's Ben Swift in a bunch sprint.
The sprint was always the likely conclusion of a stage that contained just one category three climb in it. However the daily breakaway's gave it their best shot nonetheless.
Omega Pharma-QuickStep's Niki Terpstra started the day just 10 seconds down on the leader and tried to give the bunch the slip early in the day, though it was clear that he would be allowed no chance and he quickly dropped back into the main group.
The main break of the day was then formed by Spaniard's Javier Aramendia and Javier Chacon, who were joined by Katusha's Mikhail Ignatiev. It was always going to be a challenge for the three men to stay away from the peloton and they were duly caught over 10km from the finish.
The biggest moment for the group was the single climb of the day where Javier Chacon took the points and therefore became the first man to wear the king of the mountains jersey.
The sprinter's teams didn't have it all their own way as Vacansoleil-DCM's Sergey Lagutin decided to put in a burst of acceleration just over 5km from the line.
The Uzbec national champion achieved a small lead over the main group but was reeled back in by Orica-GreenEdge as they tried to set up the stage for Allan Davis.
It was not be be the Australian's day though, as Degenkolb powered past both Davis and Swift with an impressive burst of speed to take the victory. It was an opportunity missed for Davis and he slammed his handlebars in frustration as he crossed the line.
The win adds to an impressive season for Degenkolb. The 23-year-old will now wear the points leader's jersey in tomorrow's stage.
Elsewhere in the peloton Movistar's Jonathan Castroviejo retained his red jersey by finishing in the bunch to maintain his lead at the top of the general classification and all of the pre-race favorites finished with the same time.
The top 10 in the general classification (Courtesy of lavuelta.com)
|1||2||CASTROVIEJO, Jonathan||MOV||4h 57' 31''|
|2||7||QUINTANA, Nairo Alexander||MOV||m.t. 1º|
|3||6||MORENO, Javier||MOV||m.t. 1º|
|4||9||VALVERDE, Alejandro||MOV||m.t. 1º|
|5||4||INTXAUSTI, Beñat||MOV||m.t. 1º|
|6||1||COBO, Juan José||MOV||+ 4''|
|7||169||VAN WINDEN, Dennis||RAB||+ 10''|
|8||148||TERPSTRA, Niki||OPQ||+ 10''|
|9||143||DE WEERT, Kevin||OPQ||+ 10''|
|10||42||BALLAN, Alessandro||BMC||+ 10''|
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