Lekunberri (dpa) – The Spanish professional cyclist Marc Soler has won the second stage of the Vuelta a España.
The 26-year-old Movistar professional managed to profile himself as a soloist after 151.6 kilometers from Pamplona to Lekunberri on Thursday, after beating a top group on the descent of the last mountain classification at 15 kilometers from the finish.
The sprint of the pursuers was won 19 seconds later by Slovenian defending champion Primoz Roglic ahead of Irishman Dan Martin, who defended his red jersey as overall leader of the 75th Tour of Spain. Soler’s Spanish Movistar team had previously divided the field about 55 kilometers by increasing the pace at a windward edge. After the second day of the Vuelta, Roglic now leads Martin by nine seconds, followed by former Giro winner Richard Carapaz from Ecuador.
Another shadow of himself was the four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome, who crossed the finish line at the start more than ten minutes behind Roglic. The 35-year-old Briton could not keep up with the best on the return leg and came far behind the finish again.
After the start was originally planned in the Netherlands, the cycling professionals are challenged from the start after moving to the Basque Country. Defending champion Roglic immediately demonstrated his strength on Tuesday and immediately took over the red jersey. On Thursday, the third stage leads 166.1 kilometers from Lodosa to the mountain finish in La Laguna Negra de Vinuesa.