Vuelta a Andalucía: Jonathan Hivert takes second straight stage but Valverde maintains control
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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Vuelta a Andalucía: Jonathan Hivert takes second straight stage but Valverde maintains control

by Ben Atkins at 8:25 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
Frenchman wins bunch sprint after long attack is caught

jonathan hivertJonathan Hivert (Sojasun) took his second straight victory in the 2013 Vuelta a Andalucía - the Rua del Sol - in a bunch sprint at the end of the second stage between Trebujena and Montilla. The Frenchman was first to the line at the end of the undulating 194.2km course, finishing ahead of American Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp), with Francesco Lasca (Caja Rural) third.

The stage featured a long breakaway from Luis Mas (Burgos-Castilla y León), Yelko Gomez (Caja Rural) and Clément Lhotellerie (Colba-Superano Ham), who escaped in the early kilometres. The trio was able to get almost eight minutes clear but, despite the lone resistance of Lhotellerie, was caught with 17km to go.

Finishing safely in the peloton, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) held on to the race lead that he took in the prologue two days before, seven seconds clear of Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol).

After a flurry of early attacks, Mas and Gomez managed to escape after around 15km, and the duo was soon joined by Lhotellerie. After 50km they had opened up a gap of 4’32” over the peloton; with Valverde’s Movistar team controlling the pace behind them, this advantage was allowed to continue growing.

Mas led over the Meta Volante sprint, in Arahal after 78.7km, ahead of Lhotellerie and Gomez, and the peloton followed 6’30” later. At the 99km point the lead reached 7’40”, making Lhotellerie the virtual leader on the road, but this was as wide as it was to reach; at 110km the Movistar team had cut it to less than seven minutes.

With 65km the trio still had 5’30” in hand but, as the peloton hit a long, straight, exposed road, the Movistar team accelerated into the crosswinds, which split the bunch into pieces. Eventually, after a tough chase for many riders, the peloton reformed but, at the 50km to go banner, the gap to the leaders was just 2’20”.

As the trio approached at the foot of the first climb of the day, the Alto de Santaella with just under 30km to go, it had little more than 1’30” of its lead left and Lhotellerie attacked. Over the top of the climb the Frenchman had 1’45” over the peloton, as his former companions were swallowed up. There was a brief attack from Luis Angel Maté (Cofidis) and Pim Ligthart (Vacansoleil-DCM), but this was to come to nothing.

Inside the final 20km Lhotellerie still had 1’30” over the peloton, but two more climbs to tackle before the finish; the peloton was closing in faster now, and the Frenchman was finally caught with 17km to go.

Despite the presence of the Alto de Montalban, with 12.7km to go, and the Alto del Fontanar, just 2.6km from the finish, there were no more serious attacks and the peloton arrived at the finish all together, where Hivert won his second straight stage.

Result stage 2
1. Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Sojasun
2. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Sharp
3. Francesco Lasca (Ita) Caja Rural
4. Grega Bole (Slo) Vacansoleil-DCM
5. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling
6. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Team Astana
7. José Joaquin Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team
8. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto-Belisol
9. Sander Armee (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
10. Yves Lampert (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise

Standings after stage 2
1. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team
2. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto-Belisol @ 7s
3. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling @ 11s
4. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha Team @ 12s
5. Bart de Clercq (Bel) Lotto-Belisol @ 17s
6. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Team Astana @ 19s
7. Luis Angel Maté (Spa) Cofidis @ 22s
8. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team @ 24s
9. Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Sojasun @ 25s
10. Sander Armee (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise @ 30s


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