Stage two of the Vuelta a San Juan saw a lesser-known rider take his chance as Roman Villalobos (Canel’s-Specialized) took an unexpected victory as the WorldTour teams missed out, a result that also saw him move into the race lead.
Villalobos, whose biggest victories in the past have been two yellow overall wins at the Vuelta a Guatemala, joined a late attack with Tiesj Benoot (Lotto-Soudal) and Ricardo Escuela (A.C.A. Virgen De Fatima).
The trio escaped on a short climb in the final kilometres, before being helped towards the finish line by a strong tailwind with Benoot doing the majority of the work to ensure they stayed away.
In the end the margin was so tight that there was no time gap between the trio of escapees and the main peloton on the finish line, but Villalobos was able to stay in front, timing his move to perfection as he crossed the line first, a result that also gave him the race lead as Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) finished eight seconds back.
Vuelta a San Juan 2018, stage two: Peri Lago Punta Negra to Peri Lago Punta Negra, 149.9km
1. Roman Villalobos (CRc) Canel’s-Specialized, in 3-25-06
2. Ricardo Escuela (Arg) A.C.A. Virgen De Fatima
3. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
4. Filippo Ganna (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
5. Oscar Sevilla (Esp) Medellin
6. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
7. Gonzalo Najar (Arg) S.E.P. de San Juan
8. Alexander Cataford (Can) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling
9. Guillaume Boivin (Can) Israel-Cycling Academy
10. Luis Mas (Esp) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, all at same time
32. Fernando Gaviria (Col) Quick-Step Floors, at 8 secs
General classification after stage two
1. Roman Villalobos (CRc) Canel’s-Specialized, in 6-40-19
2. Ricardo Escuela (Arg) A.C.A. Virgen De Fatima, at 4 secs
3. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal, at 6 secs
4. Fernando Gaviria (Col) Quick-Step Floors, at 8 secs
5. Manuel Belletti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec, at 10 secs
6. Filippo Ganna (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
7. Miguel Rubiano (Col) Coldeportes-Zenu
8. Luis Mas (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
9. Oscar Sevilla (Esp) Medellin
10. Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Lotto Soudal, all at same time