Things took a turn for the worse for Euskaltel in today's second Volta a Catalunya stage. Mikel Nieve crashed, and only Samuel Sánchez was able to stay with the strongest riders.
The 161km day two, starting and finishing in Girona, saw a trio break clear early on. The demanding nature of the course didn't leave the breakaway much chance of staying away though, and they were duly reeled in with reasonable ease. A dangerous-looking group consisting of Daniel Martin, Damiano Cunego and Matteo Carrara tried their luck late on, but it all came down to a sprint from an elite 31-man group. Yesterday's victor, Michael Albasini, amazingly went back to back with an impressive surge, while Samu finished safely inside the group in 20th place. The other riders in orange went missing though, with Minguez and Velasco at 51 seconds being the closest. Mikel Nieve took a tumble and hit his thigh - team doctors are hoping he'll be ready to race tomorrow though, the team's website reports.
- (1, Michael Albasini, GreenEdge)
- 20, Samuel Sánchez, s.t
- 42, Miguel Mínguez, 0:51
- 45, Iván Velasco, s.t.
- 103, Amets Txurruka, 3:19
- 136, Jorge Azanza, 6:51
- 140, Pierre Cazaux, s.t.
- 156, Mikel Nieve, 10:17
- 157, Victor Cabedo, 11:54
Ahead of tomorrow's etapa reina to Port-Ainé, Samu is 14th overall.