Tour-Catalonia stage 2
Banyoles, Spain, March 21, 2017 (AFP) – Alejandro Valverde’s Movistar stormed to a surprise victory in the team time trial at the Tour of Catalonia on Tuesday, as Team Sky suffered a damaging off day.
Valverde’s team-mate Jose Joaquin Rojas leads the overall standings after two stages as he and his seven team-mates gamely sprinted for the win. The Movistar team, from Spain, had been far from favourites to win the tricky 41.3km race but beat Tejay van Garderen’s BMC by a slender two seconds while putting a punishing 46 seconds into Chris Froome’s Sky team. “We worked very hard and had planned it all, checking out the route etc,” Valverde said after the race. “We put some important time into some key rivals,” he told Eurosport.
A drawn-looking Froome told Eurosport: “This was not the stage we had been planning.” The three-time Tour de France winner and team-mate Geraint Thomas have a climb stage with three category-one mountain ascents tomorrow in which to grapple back into contention in the seven stage Tour. Alberto Contador’s Trek team were left 1min 13sec adrift and the veteran climber told cameras he was ready to attack with style on Wednesday.