Luka Mezgec (Giant-Shimano) scored his second successive stage win in the 2014 Volta a Catalunya, once again coming out on top in the bunch sprint.
Mezgec put clear air between himself and Roberto Ferrari (Lampre-Merida) to take the victory, with Daniele Ratto (Cannondale) coming home for third.
His win nets him a further 10 second stage winner’s bonus to extend his lead at the head of the general classification. Ferrari sits in second place at 14 seconds, with Australian Leigh Howard (Orica-GreenEdge) in third also at 14 seconds.
Before the race had come together for a bunch sprint, Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) had been the sole remnant of the day’s escape group. The Frenchman was caught with five kilometres to go.
Several riders abandoned the race during the wet stage, including Sky’s Richie Porte, who according to the team is still suffering from after-effects of the illness that saw him quit Tirreno-Adriatico. Trek Factory Racing lost two riders: Danilo Hondo failed to make the start line with bronchitis and Haimar Zubeldia withdrew during the day.
With the overall contenders currently locked together in the GC, tomorrow’s decidedly more hilly third stage should serve to shake things up, with its finale atop the first category climb of La Molina. We should see the likes of Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), Chris Froome (Sky) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) start to show their hand.
Volta a Catalunya 2014, stage two: Mataro to Girona, 168km
1. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Giant-Shimano in 3-57-49
2. Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida
3. Daniele Ratto (Ita) Cannondale
4. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Omega Pharma-QuickStep
5. Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing
6. Davide Vigano (Ita) Caja Rural
7. Boris Vallee (Bel) Lotto-Belisol
8. Tosh van der Sande (Bel) Lotto-Belisol
9. Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
10. Maciej Paterski (Pol) CCC Polsat all same time
Overall classification after stage two
1. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Giant-Shimano in 8-06-42
2. Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 14 secs
3. Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge at 14 secs
Luka Mezgec takes race lead after winning stage one bunch sprint
Tour de France champion Chris Froome recovered from recent back injury to start Volta a Catalunya in Spain on Monday