Vuelta a Espana 2015: Chaves climbs into lead on stage two

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Vuelta a Espana 2015: Johan Esteban Chaves climbs into race lead on stage two

Orica-GreenEDGE rider wins stage to take red leader's jersey

Johan Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEDGE) won stage two of the Vuelta a Espana to claim the red jersey on the day’s final climb to Caminito del Rey.

Fellow Colombian Nairo Quintana (Movistar) had instigated the attack on the short summit finish, with only Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin), Nicolas Roche (Team Sky) and Chaves able to follow.

And on a climb in which the gradient repeatedly changed, it was Chaves who proved strongest – the 25-year-old claiming his first individual Grand Tour stage win.

Johan Esteban Chaves won stage two of the Vuelta a Espana to move into the race lead (pic: Sirotti)

Further back, Quintana’s attack saw him gain an early four-seconds on GC rival Chris Froome (Team Sky), while Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) suffered a nightmare day after being involved in a crash with 30km remaining.

Nibali, and several team-mates, went down in the high-speed fall and after TV cameras showed the Astana man getting a tow from his team car as he chased back he was disqualified overnight.

The crash was one of a number of incidents on a frenetic first road stage of the season’s final Grand Tour, with several crashes occurring – including Matteo Pelucchi (IAM Cycling) abandoning after an incident in the first few kilometres.

The day’s break was formed by Nelson Oliveira (Lampre-Merida), Bart-Jan Lindeman (LottoNL-Jumbo), Jose Goncalves (Caja Rural-Seguros), Matteo Montaguti (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Walter Pedraza (Colombia) and Davide Villella (Cannondale-Garmin).

Although the bunch was happy to let the six forge ahead, they were never given too much leeway with Tinkoff-Saxo among the team’s setting the pace.

As several riders hit the deck with 30 kilometres to go, however, the bunch became fractured with Nibali, Fabio Aru (Astana) and Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) among those caught behind the split.

Paolo Tiralongo (Astana) suffered a bad facial wound in the crash, but did ride on, as back at the front of the bunch Movistar and Team Sky set the tempo.

Picking off the breakaway until only Goncalves remained allowed Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) to jump clear and bag bonus seconds at the intermediate sprint.

Chaves’ win earned him a five-second advantage overall (pic: Sirotti)

On the climb, Quintana was the first to mount a serious attack but Chaves was clearly the form man as he accelerated away from the Movistar rider.

Roche tried to hold his wheel, as did the battling Dumoulin, but on terrain which suited the Colombian he held on to claim victory.

Splits behind meant gaps already appeared overall, meanwhile, with Froome losing four seconds to Quintana and Rodriguez.

Chaves, meanwhile, will pull on the red jersey for stage three, which finishes in Malaga.

Vuelta a Espana 2015: stage two – result

1) Johan Esteban Chaves (COL) – Orica-GreenEDGE – 3.57.25hrs
2) Tom Dumoulin (NED) – Giant-Alpecin +1”
3) Nicolas Roche (IRL) – Team Sky +9”
4) Daniel Martin (IRL) – Cannondale-Garmin +14”
5) Joaquim Rodriguez (ESP) – Katusha +26”
6) Nairo Quintana (COL) – Movistar – ST
7) Chris Froome (GBR) – Team Sky +30”
8) Alejandro Valverde (ESP) – Movistar +31”
9) Daniel Moreno (ESP) – Katusha – ST
10) Fabio Aru (ITA) – Astana +37”

General classification

1) Johan Esteban Chaves (COL) – Orica-GreenEDGE – 3.57.15hrs
2) Tom Dumoulin (NED) – Giant-Alpecin +5”
3) Nicolas Roche (IRL) – Team Sky +15”
4) Daniel Martin (IRL) – Cannondale-Garmin +24”
5) Joaquim Rodriguez (ESP) – Katusha +36”
6) Nairo Quintana (COL) – Movistar – ST
7) Chris Froome (GBR) – Team Sky +40”
8) Alejandro Valverde (ESP) – Movistar +41”
9) Daniel Moreno (ESP) – Katusha – ST
10) Fabio Aru (ITA) – Astana +47”

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