A late climb, a hoolie-doolie of a fast descent and a reduced bunch sprint that looked set to be taken by the BORA-hansgrohe team – right up until a certain Spanish puncheur got his legs into gear.
Volta a Catalunya Stage 2: Mataro to Valls, 175.6km
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) timed his sprint kick perfectly, coming from behind to grab the victory from Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott). Jay McCarthy, who struck for home first, claimed third for BORA-hansgrohe. Valverde goes into race lead by 4secs from McCarthy thanks to win bonifications and also some clever racing to collect 3 secs at an intermediate sprint.
Video, we pick it up with 5km to go. (Watch out for teammate Jose Joaquin Rojas with his arms in the air as Valverde goes over the line – I love when that happens!)
This marks 114 pro wins for Alejandro. The man is a born racer. VeloVoices Journal Velo is not the only one to ponder How the hell has Alejandro Valverde grown on me.
The podium was a celebration of Catalan traditions with giant heads and a human tower building trophy.Embed from Getty Images
It’s always beautiful to take a victory in this town and make a tribute to our friend Xavi Tondo, one we always remember wherever we go. – Alejandro Valverde
Full race report at Cycling News
Header image: sprint finish – David Ramos/Getty Images