Some of the biggest names in sprinting came up against each other for the first time since lockdown on stage two of the Vuelta a Burgos 2020, as Fernando Gaviria nailed the final turn and took a commanding victory.
This was the first chance to see some of the biggest sprinting names going flat out to the line, with the likes of Sam Bennett (Deceuninck - Quick-Step), Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ), Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates), Giacomo Nizzolo (NTT Pro Cycling) and more all in the mix.
Gaviria took the win ahead of Frenchman Démare, as Felix Großschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe) held onto his overall lead.
How it happened
Day two of the Vuelta a Burgos saw the peloton ride the almost pan flat 168km course between Castrojeriz and Villadiego.
The early break was made up of five riders - Ángel Fuentes (Burgos-BH), Joel Nicolau (Caja Rural), Riccardo Verza (Kometa-Xstra Cycling Team), Kiko Galván (Equipo Kern Pharma) and best placed rider, Alessandro Fedeli (Nippo-Delko-Provence), who started the day at just eight seconds down on the leader.
Racing was largely controlled by Bora-Hansgrohe, but NTT Pro Cycling, Groupama-FDJ and Deceuninck - Quick-Step put the occasional rider in to tap out the pace.
With 17km to go, the break was about to be caught, so Nicolau went on a solo attack, but the peloton were now in colour order ready for a sprint. Just 2km later and the Caja Rural rider was swallowed up and all the focus was put on the fast men.
The final 15km were on tight, twisty and undulating roads, but the peloton kept the pace from being too frantic.
As the peloton then started to descend rapidly towards Villadiego they joined a wider road with 5km to go, with sprint trains moving up left right and centre.
Matteo Trentin's CCC Team took control with 3km to go, stringing out the peloton. This allowed other sprint teams to make their way to the front. But as they hit the flamme rouge, Deceuninck - Quick-Step took to the front with Sam Bennett set to sprint.
But the final corner was taken best by Colombian Gaviria, who flew to a comfortable victory in stage two of the Vuelta a Burgos ahead of Démare and Bennett, who may have been held up by a late crash from a Equipo Kern Pharma rider.
Felix Großschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe) finished safely in the bunch and holds onto his eight second lead.
Gaviria showed no signs that the coronavirus had effected him in anyway, since recovering from the virus back in the spring. He was quarantined in UAE where he was racing the UAE Tour, before heading home to Colombia to rest and eventually train.
There was no sign of Mark Cavendish (Bahrain-McLaren) in what is a very important race for the 'Manx Missile' as he looks to gain a spot on the Tour de France team bus.
Vuelta a Burgos 2020, stage two: Castrojeriz - Villadiego (168km)
1. Fernando Gaviria (Col) UAE Team Emirates, in 3-55-38
2. Arnaud Démare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
3. Sam Bennett (Irl) Deceuninck - Quick-Step
4. Matteo Trentin (Ita) CCC Team
5. Jon Aberasturi (Esp) Caja Rural
6. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
7. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling
8. Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
9. Pascal Eenkhoorn (Ned) Team Jumbo Visma
10. Mikel Aristi (Esp) Fundacion Ciclista Euskadi, all at same time.
1. Felix Großschartner (Aut) Bora Hansgrohe, in 7-35-59
2. Jon Aberasturi (Esp) Caja Rural, at 8s
3. Matteo Trentin (Ita) CCC Team
4. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
5. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling
6. Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar
7. Mikel Landa (Esp) Bahrain-McLaren
8. George Bennett (Nzl) Team Jumbo Visma
9. Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott
10. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Team Ineos, all at same time
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