VIANA, Spain (VN) — John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano) came from behind to win stage 2 of the Vuelta a España on Sunday.
The German overhauled Allan Davis (Orica-GreenEdge) and Ben Swift (Team Sky) in the final meters of the 181.4km stage from Pamplona to Viana. It was the 23-year-old’s first stage victory in a grand tour.
Degenkolb said his Argos-Shimano teammates brought him back to the fore when he briefly lost the wheels in the finale.
“Koen de Kort put me back in the game and it was a sprint between three riders. In the end I was the strongest,” he said. “The last 400 or 500 meters were slightly uphill from the last roundabout. You need power for sprinting in these conditions. That’s what I’m like and that’s what I’m made for.”
The stage was marked by an early break — Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), Javier Francisco Aramendia Lorente (Caja Rural), Mikhail Ignatyev (Katusha) and Javier Chacon (Andalucia). Terpstra was a threat to the overall, sitting seventh at 10 seconds behind race leader Jonathan Castroviejo, and Movistar was very much not interested in him getting away, so he left the others to enjoy their day in the sun and dropped back to the field.
And a very hot sun it was, with temperatures in the high 90s to low 100s.
The trio soldiered along on the largely flat stage, building a gap of more than four minutes, before the bunch set about gradually bringing them back.
Chacon was first to fall off the pace as the Movistar-led peloton closed in, but he had the first king of the mountains jersey to keep him company after “winning” the cat. 3 ascent of the Chapela (Aramendia was relegated for an infringement after actually reaching the summit first). His breakaway mates were snatched up shortly thereafter as the bunch entered the finishing circuit in Viana.
Sergei Lagutin (Vacansoleil-DCM) tried a solo dig with 5km to go, but got nowhere, with Ag2r La Mondiale and Orica-GreenEdge leading the pursuit.
In the final charge to the line
To read the whole story, visit here: http://velonews.competitor.com/2012/08/news/john-degenkolb-takes-stage-2-of-the-2012-vuelta-a-espana_234880