Stage 2 of the Volta Catalunya sent the peloton 191.8 kilometres from Mataro to Olot. Olot has been included a number of times along the route of the Volta but never as a finishing town. Famous for great roads and mountainous terrain it is an ideal training destination. The constant pouring rain and cold temperates made for a difficult day for the riders. But things heated up from the start when breakaway of four riders got away. This group was made up of Sam Bewley (Orica-GreenEdge), Luis Mas Bonet (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Tom Stamsnijder (Giant-Alpecin) and Tsgabu Grmay (Lampre-Merida). CCC protected the leaders jersey well taking charge at the front of the peloton right from the beginning and never let the escapees have more than 4 minutes.
When the peloton approached the town of Besalu nerves in the peloton took over and the pace increased rapidly with each team fighting to be in the front for the technical and hilly last 25km. Etixx, Cannondale-Garmin, Sky, and Tinkoff-Saxo all took turns on the front splitting the peloton. On the last climb many attacks came. Contador, Porte, Danielson, and Poels all were aggressive but the strong headwind and shallow gradient did not allow anyone to go far. A reduced peloton finally made its way down to the round-about strew last 5km in which Alejandro Valverde emerged victorious.
Stage 3 Girona to Girona looks to be one of the most challenging stages going up one of my favorite climbs Els’ Angles twice. This is where we will see the GC favorites for overall victory emerge.
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