Spaniard Marc Soler won the second stage of the Vuelta a Espana on Wednesday ahead of reigning champion Primoz Roglic who kept the red jersey for overall leader. Dan Martin took third in the 151.6km ride from Pamplona to Lekunberri. For Soler, 26, it was his first stage win on a Grand Tour.
“I’m really happy, this win is a reward for the team’s effort in a season that has been a little complicated,” said Soler, who won the 2018 Paris-Nice race. This was only Movistar’s second success of the year, the first in the one-day Pollenca-Andratx also supplied by Soler in February.
“We were very motivated, knowing the route perfectly. We wanted to win this,” added the Catalan native.
He took the honors after a well-orchestrated day’s riding by Movistar before the day’s final Category 1 climb up the Alto de San Miguel. They managed to thwart an attack by Richard Carapaz riding for Ineos. Soler launched his decisive move over the summit, leaving a select group of general classification contenders with 13 kilometers to go.
Jumbo-Visma rider Roglic, who let the Tour de France slip on the penultimate stage, led the group who came in 19 seconds behind Soler. The Slovenian increased his lead in the overall standings to nine seconds, with Israel Start-Up Nation’s Martin moving into second ahead of Carapaz.
Roglic commented: “It’s been a good day, even if it was very tough due to the wind. There was the battle up the final climb and Marc came out of it well, he deserves his win.”
Thursday’s third stage is a 166.1km ride between Lodosa and the Laguna Negra in Vinuesa.
1 SOLER Marc Movistar Team 3:47:04
2 ROGLIČ Primož Team Jumbo-Visma 0:19
3 MARTIN Dan Israel Start-Up Nation ,,
4 CARAPAZ Richard INEOS Grenadiers ,,
5 VALVERDE Alejandro Movistar Team ,,
6 MAS Enric Movistar Team ,,
7 CHAVES Esteban Mitchelton-Scott ,,
8 CARTHY Hugh EF Pro Cycling ,,
9 KUSS Sepp Team Jumbo-Visma ,,
10 BENNETT George Team Jumbo-Visma ,,
1 ROGLIČ Primož Team Jumbo-Visma 8:09:41
2 MARTIN Dan Israel Start-Up Nation 0:09
3 CARAPAZ Richard INEOS Grenadiers 0:11
4 CHAVES Esteban Mitchelton-Scott 0:17
5 MAS Enric Movistar Team ,,
6 CARTHY Hugh EF Pro Cycling 0:20
7 KUSS Sepp Team Jumbo-Visma 0:26
8 BENNETT George Team Jumbo-Visma 0:56
9 GROßSCHARTNER Felix BORA – hansgrohe 0:59
10 SOLER Marc Movistar Team 1:04
RBA/AFP Photos: Bettini