Spain delivered another day of horrendous weather to the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana peloton. But for the second stage in a row, Rally Cycling was unfazed by the tricky conditions, sending Robin Carpenter into the day’s breakaway and saving Colin Joyce for the sprint. Joyce finished eighth and now occupies the same place on GC.
“I felt good near the end, but I didn’t really get to sprint,” Joyce says. “It was a little hectic. I kinda got pushed around and struggled to find the right position. It’s nice to see the pointy end, but you know what Ricky Bobby says, ‘If you ain’t first, you’re last’, so gotta keep fighting for that win!”
The stage started in Alicante and headed out into the hills before wheeling round and back to the popular coastal resort city. After Stephen Bassett’s big ride on stage 1, it was Carpenter’s turn to show his strength out front before it all came back together for the anticipated bunch kick.
🚨 Do you think they’ll make it to the finish?! 🚨#VCV2021
— Rally Cycling (@Rally_Cycling) April 15, 2021
It took barely any time at all for a five-man breakaway to form at the start of the 179km stage. For a few tantalizing kilometers, it looked like there might be a chance that they’d make it all the way, but the big sprint teams kept their cool and the gap fell precipitously on the wide wet roads of the last 10km. The attackers were gradually hauled in, and Carpenter and Angel Madrazo (Burgos BH) were the last survivors, caught with just 3km to go.
The team of the eventual winner, Arnaud Démare, led the field into the sketchy finale, almost everyone still top-to-toe in rain gear.
“It was definitely a cold and wet one,” added Joyce. “There was a lot of getting clothes from the car, and unfortunately it made for some slick turns.”
That’s two consecutive top-10s at the Spanish stage race in what has been a great week for the team. Everyone at Rally Cycling is still riding the wave of Arvid de Kleijn’s sprinting success that started with stage 1 victory at the Tour of Turkey.
“Nothing builds success like success,” says Clark Sheehan, who is directing his first race for the team alongside Eric Wohlberg. “Seeing Arvid going so well in Turkey has been a big inspiration for the entire team here in Valencia.”
After a consistently fast start to the race, it’s over to the climbers on tomorrow’s 165km hilly stage to Alto de la Reina. The peloton will be hoping for better weather on what promises to be an aggressive day out. Don’t miss any of the action, which will be broadcast live on GCN+ (US) and Eurosport (Europe) from 7 am CT.
Stage 2 results
1 DÉMARE Arnaud, Groupama – FDJ 4:09:23
2 DUPONT Timothy, Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB ”
3 EWAN Caleb, Lotto Soudal ”
4 CONSONNI Simone, Cofidis, Solutions Crédits ”
5 MORA Sebastián, Movistar Team ”
6 GUARNIERI Jacopo, Groupama – FDJ ”
7 ÁVILA Edwin, Burgos – BH ”
8 JOYCE Colin, Rally Cycling ”
9 ORTS Felipe, Burgos – BH ”
10 D’HEYGERE Gil, Tarteletto – Isorex ”
Overall standings after stage 2
1 SCOTSON Miles Groupama – FDJ 5 8:24:10
2 DEGENKOLB John Lotto Soudal 0:32
3 RIOU Alan Team Arkéa Samsic 0:34
4 MAS Enric Movistar Team 0:35
5 OLIVEIRA Nelson Movistar Team 0:36
6 LAFAY Victor Cofidis, Solutions Crédits 0:37
7 CONSONNI Simone Cofidis, Solutions Crédits 0:38
8 JOYCE Colin Rally Cycling ”
9 LOUVEL Matis Team Arkéa Samsic ”
10 BONNAMOUR Franck B&B Hotels p/b KTM ”