Tadej Pogačar strikes the first blow in Vallter

March 19 th 2024 - 19:45 [GMT + 1]

Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) has not wanted to wait and has made good his predictions as favorite for the final victory in the 103rd edition of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, which in its second stage has experienced its first high altitude finish in the mountain resort of Vallter, the cycling summit of Catalonia. The Slovenian star has won solo and now leads the general classification with 1:35 over Mikel Landa (Soudal Quick-Step) and 1:38 over Alexander Vlasov (Bora-hansgrohe).

El millor de l'etapa / Best of stage 2. Volta Catalunya 2024

Pogačar was the undisputed protagonist of a second stage of 186.5 kilometers that started from Mataró, a classic of the Volta a Catalunya in the last decade, to reach the cycling summit of Catalnya, a special category pass, after passing through a 1st category pass such as the Coll de Coubet. The necessary ingredients to live a first great mountain stage.

Six cyclists were the protagonists of the breakaway of the day: Catalan Álex Jaime (Team Kern Pharma), who was able to pass through his hometown Sarrià de Ter as the head of the race and was awarded as the most combative cyclist of the day, Mongolian cyclist Jambaljamts Sainbayar (Burgos-BH), Jimmy Janssens (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Kevin Colleoni (Intermarche-Wanty), Samuel Fernandez (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Xabier Isasa (Euskaltel-Euskadi), who had a maximum advantage of about seven minutes.

The group began to break up on the ascent to the Coll de Coubet, where the rain began to make its presence felt and showed that the rain would be the main protagonist in today's stage. Both in its ascent, where the breakaway broke, and in its descent, where UAE Team Emirates with Pogačar himself at the front tightened the race, the hardness of the conditions was noticed in the participants of the Volta before this first mountain challenge. Jimmy Janssens (Alpecin-Deceuninck) was the last survivor of this breakaway at the foot of the final ascent to Vallter, which had its own name: that of Tadej Pogačar.

The Slovenian star didn't wait long and broke away solo from the base of the Ripoll pass, gaining a lead that kept growing. In his pursuit, Mikel Landa (Soudal Quick-Step) and Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-hansgrohe) ended up proving to be the strongest candidates and crossed the finish line 1:23 and 1:24 behind the Slovenian, respectively, who on the second day of the race has already positioned himself as leader of the Volta Catalunya.

This Wednesday, the Volta a Catalunya will live a new day of high mountains in its third stage: a day of 176.7 kilometers starting in Sant Joan de les Abadesses and finishing in the Pallaresan resort of Port Ainé, a special category pass to which there will be added two challenges for climbers as the Port de Toses (1st category) and the Port del Cantó (special category) to round off a day that can be decisive for the development of the race.

© MD

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