It was a repeat victor at the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya as race leader Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) won today’s 2nd stage. Gianni Meersman (Etixx-Quickstep) came home in 2nd place and Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing) was 3rd.
It was a pretty calm stage as 4 riders escaped early on with Cofidis controlling the time gap. As today was more than likely the last opportunity for a pure sprint finish at the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, Bouhanni’s team would not leave anything to chance by keeping the escapees around 2 minutes for most of the day.
It would not be a day well suited for our Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka riders and so our climbers conserved energy in the pack for the better part of the 178km stage. It was only in the final 10km, once the break had been caught and the peloton started speeding up, that our African Team moved to the front in order to stay out of trouble and keep our GC aspirations intact.
Once again Bouhanni was able to count on a good leadout from his French team, taking the win ahead of Meersman and Gilbert. Cameron Meyer did have to relinquish his king of the mountains jersey he pulled on yesterday to Boris Dron (Wanty Groupe Gobert) but all our African Team riders got through the stage in good shape and are motivated for the first big climbing day at the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya tomorrow.
Alex Sans Vega – Sport Director
It was a bunch sprint today and we don’t have a sprinter at the race so we focused more on saving energy for the coming two days, the mountain stages. Coming to the final, our guys for the GC, Merhawi Kudus, Kanstanstin Siutsou and Igor Anton were well protected and they did not lose any time. We are happy to get into the mountains now for the next two stages.