The Colombian got the better of Tom Dumoulin to take the stage win, with Nicolas Roche crossing the line in third

Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge) took the win on stage two of the 2015 Vuelta a España after the peloton splintered on the final climb to Caminito del Rey. The victory moves him into the leader’s red jersey ahead of stage three.

As the road ramped up, the lead group was reduced to just four riders, with Chaves accompanied by Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin), Nicolas Roche (Team Sky) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar).

With 1.3km to go Quintana was distanced, and soon after Roche attacked but was passed by Chaves and Dumoulin. As the race drew to a conclusion, the Colombian got the better of the Dutch time triallist and pulled away to take the victory.

How the race unfolded

An early break consisting of six riders was allowed away, but never looked like it would build a big enough advantage to win the day. The group consisted of Nelson Oliveira (Lampre-Merida), Bert-Jan Luindeman (LottoNL-Jumbo), Jose Goncalves (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Matteo Montaguti (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Walter Pedraza (Colombia) and Davide Villella (Cannondale-Garmin), whilst the peloton appeared happy to let them go as a relaxed calm descended over the main group.

The early part of the stage was mired by crashes, with many riders completing the final 100km with visible signs of having hit the tarmac.

>>> Vuelta a España 2015 route

Away from the racing, there was the threat of drama when a number of team buses formed a traffic jam near the final corner of the finishing circuit, as a reported result of a wrong turn on their way to the finish area.

Later in the race, with around 30km to the finish, about half the peloton were involved in or delayed by a large crash. Some big names, including Vincenzo Nibali and Peter Sagan, were left waiting quite some time for spare bikes, all the while Movistar and Team Sky continued to drive the pace at the front of the peloton.

With the breakaway disintegrating and all but Goncalves caught, Alejandro Valverde and Joaquim Rodriguez jumped off the front of the peloton to take the remaining bonus seconds of two and one respectively at the intermediate sprint. Katusha then got in on the act of setting a searing pace towards the foot of the final climb to help position Rodriguez for the finale.

After burning out several teammates and pushing hard, Nibali made contact with the back of the peloton and slotted back in with the other main contenders. Goncalves was caught, meaning it was all back together for the final 10km. The attacks began and the racing on the final summit got underway.

The essential guide to the 2015 race

Vuelta a España stage two: Alhaurín de la Torre to Caminito del Rey (158.7km)

1. Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-Green-Edge in 3:57:25
2. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin at 1s
3. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky at 9s
4. Daniel Martin (Irl) Cannondale-Garmin at 14s
5. Joaquim Rodriguez (Esp) Katusha at 26s
6. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar st
7. Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky at 30s
8. Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar at 31s
9. Daniel Moreno (Esp) Katusha st
10. Fabio Aru (Ita) 37s

Overall classification after stage two

1. Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-Green-Edge in 3:57:15
2. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin at 5s
3. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky at 15s
4. Daniel Martin (Irl) Cannondale-Garmin at 24s
5. Joaquim Rodriguez (Esp) Katusha at 36s
6. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar st
7. Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky at 40s
8. Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar at 41s
9. Daniel Moreno (Esp) Katusha st
10. Fabio Aru (Ita) 47s

  • RobTM

    Yes, the point was really we don’t have to imagine.
    Secondarily Nibali’s shock at “harshness” is hypocrisy as he HIMSELF used the Froome Giro 2010 incident to take a shot in an interview. Froome was unfit & getting help to meet the soigneur on first summit, not even rejoining a group, nevermind getting the jump on one, so wasn’t perhaps unsporting. Still got fined and DQ-ed, seen by commissaire

  • James Rider

    He had already decided to abandon the race at that point. He just hanged on to the bike to take him to the finish and the organisers DQ’d him before he officially abandoned.

  • RobTM

    Yeah Froome was DQ-ed in 2010 Giro for hanging onto police bike

  • Dabber

    Nibali took a massive tow hanging on to the side of his team car at high speed. He should be subject to a large penalty. Just imagine the reaction if Sky had done that.