Gianni Meersman sprinted to his second consecutive stage win at the Volta a Catalunya today to extend his overall lead.
Meersman (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) won a scrappy bunch sprint in Banyoles ahead of Daniele Ratto (Cannondale) and Brett Lancaster (Orica-GreenEdge) at the end of the 160.7km race from Girona.
Blanco almost immediately took to the pace making when a three-man break was caught with 20km of the finishing circuit remaining. The peloton began to string out with former Australian national road champion Jack Bobridge driving at the front to help set-up team sprinter, Robert Wagner.
Blanco controlled much of the finale but began to run out of firepower when a group of four briefly moved off the front within the final three kilometres. Wagner was second wheel behind his last pilot when Britain’s Andy Fenn came around and did a turn for teammate Meersman.
The bunch looked around before Meersman opened his sprint with some 200m remaining to take another victory. The 27-year-old was clear of a small crash behind. Overall contender and Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins (Sky) did not lose time after what was the last day for the sprinters.
RadioShack hope Chris Horner was a non-starter after suffering from knee pain.
Volta a Catalunya 2013, stage two: Girona to Banyoles, 160.7km
1. Gianni Meersman (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 3-48-10
2. Daniele Ratto (Ita) Cannondale
3. Brett Lancaster (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
4. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale
5. Robert Wagner (Ger) Blanco
6. Julien Simon (Fra) Sojasun
7. Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
8. Laurent Pichon (Fra) FDJ
9. Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC
10. Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-Merida
Overall classification after stage two
1. Gianni Meersman (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 3-55-46
2. Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Astana at 4 secs
3. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 6 secs
4. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp at 10 secs
5. Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC
6. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky
7. Robert Gesink (Ned) Blanco
8. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha
9. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-Merida
10. David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Sky
Gianni Meersman wins again
Meersman on the podium