By Michelle Arthurs-Brennan published
Hannah Barnes (Canyon-SRAM) remains in the leader's jersey at the four day Setmana Ciclista Valenciana following a second place on stage two.
She missed out on the top step in a sprint finish, which was won by Marta Bastianelli (Alé Cipollini), with Alicia Gonzalez (Movistar Team Women) completing the podium at the UCI ranked 2.2 race in Spain.
Barnes won the opening stage, and maintains her load position with a five second advantage over Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Cervelo-Bigla Pro Cycling).
The 115 kilometre stage was anticipated to result in a bunch sprint, despite the best efforts of the 7.5km climb - Desert of Les Palmes - and its 5.1 per cent slope. Predictions rang true, with the fast riders coming together at the finish in Vila-Real.
Nicole Steigenga (Swabo Agolico) did atttempt a solo break, but she was caught before the climb.
Once the peloton had reached the top of the ascent, 15 riders had come to the head of the race, with Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Cervelo Bigla) able to snatch the bonus points.
By the time the race approached the flat run into the finish, the peloton was largely regrouped - with sprinter's teams setting up lead out trains.
A crash in the final stretch caused disruption, with Barnes' team mate Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM) among those to hit the deck. However, whilst Niewiadoma was able to right herself and get over the finish line, Barnes found a new position and edged into second place.
Saturday's race will be a 137km route, that's likely to yield another bunch sprint, whilst the final 118km stage on Sunday is made up three laps of a 38km circuit in Benidorm - each lap featuring an ascent of Alto Finestrat (7km at 4.7 per cent).
On Saturday, Canyon-SRAM's new recruit and sister to Hannah Barnes - Alice Barnes - will race Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in Gent, Belgium alongside Elena Cecchini, Tiffany Cromwell, Lisa Klein, Alexis Ryan and Trixi Worrack.
Cycling Weekly's Tech Editor Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper before spending a few years at Evans Cycles, then combining the two with a career in cycling journalism.
When not typing or testing, Michelle is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 1904rt.
Favourite bikes include a custom carbon Werking road bike as well as the Specialized Tarmac SL6.
Dr Hutch's retirement advice for former pros: 'By June you’re going to be baffled at how you ever had time to train'
Retiring from racing leaves a gaping hole in your daily routine but you'll have no problem filling it with nothing, says the Doc
By Michael Hutchinson • Published
Strava maps will now show points of interest for all users in the apps first 2022 update
Strava has identified the most popular spots and locations for its users and added them to maps feature
By Ryan Dabbs • Published