Cycling: Quintana wins Vuelta second stage as Roche takes race lead

Cycling: Quintana wins Vuelta second stage as Roche takes race lead

Nairo Quintana crossed the line first in Calpe to win the second stage of the Vuelta
Nairo Quintana crossed the line first in Calpe to win the second stage of the Vuelta. (AFP/JOSE JORDAN)

CALPE, Spain: Former winner Nairo Quintana continued the Colombian streak in Grand Tours when he won the first long individual stage of the Vuelta a Espana in Calpe on Sunday (Aug 25).

The Movistar rider escaped a star-studded six-man breakaway group in the last three kilometres to clinch victory.

He was chased across the line by Irishman Nicolas Roche who took the overall lead after two days of racing.

After opening with a short team trial on Saturday, the Vuelta took to the hills with a 199.6km run inland from Benidorm to Calpe that included several sharp climbs.

Even with Tour de France winner Egan Bernal skipping the race, there is still a powerful Colombian contingent in the final three-week race of the season.

Quintana, who missed the Tour de France, and Rigoberto Uran of Education First were part a powerful group that escaped on the final climb, 25 kilometres out.

Quintana broke free with three kilometres to go and crossed the line five seconds ahead of Roche of Sunweb.

Slovenian Primoz Roglic, trying to regain time after his Jumbo-Visma team's mass crash on the first stage, was third.

The main pack, including Miguel Angel Lopez, the Colombian who started the day in the overall lead, finished 37 seconds behind.

Roche took the lead by two seconds from Quintana, who won the Vuelta in 2016. The Irishman also wore the red jersey of Vuelta leader for one day in 2013.

Source: AFP/de

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