Andreas Kron wins stage two of Vuelta a España after another crash-marred day

Lorenzo Milesi cedes the red jersey after just one day in the lead

Andreas Kron
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Andreas Kron took an emotional victory on stage two of the Vuelta a España, on another day characterised by crashes and falls.

The Lotto-Dstny rider broke clear inside the final few kilometres on Montjüic hill in Barcelona, crossing the line ahead of the reduced peloton that was headed by Alpecin-Deceuninck's Kaden Groves.

Kron, 25, raised his fingers to the sky as he crossed the line in homage to Tijl De Decker, the Lotto-Dstny U23 rider who died earlier this week after a training ride crash. 

It was just Kron's fourth career victory and his first in a Grand Tour; it was also his team's first victory in a three-week race since the 2022 Giro d'Italia.

The day, however, was anything but straightforward, with the wet weather continuing to hammer the Catalan city. Both Primoz Roglič of Jumbo-Visma and Geraint Thomas of Ineos Grenadiers, two of the race favourites, were among those to crash during the stage.

Overnight race leader Lorenzo Milesi (DSM-Firmenich) was dropped inside the final 20km. Andrea Piccolo of EF Education-EasyPost now tops the general classification, with an 11 second lead over Javier Romo of Astana-Qazaqstan

How it happened

The rainy weather and thunderstorms that plagued the opening stage team time trial in Barcelona did not relent overnight and in fact worsened before the start of stage two. At the start in Mataró, an early morning powercut briefly made the team presentation a silent affair, while nearby roads were temporarily turned into flood plains.

Such conditions forced the race organisers into taking the general classification at 9km from the line, with Tour de France winner Jonas Vingegaard even visiting the Movistar team bus to speak with their leader Enric Mas about the importance of not racing dangerously during the stage.

When the racing did get underway, a group of five riders formed a breakaway: it consisted of two Spaniards, Joel Nicolau (Caja Rural) and Javier Romo (Astana); two Italians, Matteo Sobrero (Jayco-AlUla) and Andrea Piccolo (EF Education-EasyPost); and the Dutchman Jetse Bol (Burgos-BH).

After almost 100km of racing, Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) suffered a puncture along with a reported 15 other riders; Thomas of Ineos  was also affected.

With 50km to go, and the riders approaching Barcelona, the rain began to fall once again, and both Callum Scotson (Jayco-AlUla) and Pelayo Sanchez (Burgos-BH) crashed to the ground. Not long after, it was confirmed that DSM-Firmenich's Oscar Onley had abandoned, just two days into his debut Grand Tour.

The crashes then started to mount up: next to go down was UAE-Team Emirates' Rui Oliveira, and then both Roglič and Thomas. Both seemed relatively unscathed and returned to the peloton, with Vingegaard and Evenepoel instructing the peloton to reduce the speed.

As the riders turned onto the Montjüic finishing circuit, and the GC times were taken at 9km to go, the remnant of the breakaway were hoovered up, and it was Kron of Lotto-Dstny who opted to make the first big solo move.

He was initially followed by four riders but the chase was soon muted, and the Dane was seemingly permitted an easy ride up the finishing climb. In crossing the line, he pointed to the sky in honour of the late Tijl de Decker.

Behind Kron was Groves and Andrea Vendrame of AG2R Citroën. 

Result: stage two Vuelta a España 2023 - Mataró > Barcelona

1. Andreas Kron (Den) Lotto-Dstny
2. Kaden Groves (Aus) Alpecin-Deceuninck
3. Andrea Vendrame (Ita) AG2R Citroën
4. Andrea Bagioli (Ita) Soudal Quick-Step
5. Fernando Barceló (Esp) Caja Rural - Seguros RGA
6. Iván Cortina (Esp) Movistar
7. Romain Grégoire (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
8. Lennert Van Eetvelt (Bel) Lotto-Dstny
9. Marijn van den Berg (Ned) EF Education-EasyPost
10. Kobe Goossens (Bel) Intermarché-Circus-Wanty.

General classification after stage two

1. Andrea Piccolo (Ita) EF Education-EasyPost in 4.27-23
2. Javier Romo (Esp) Astana Qazaqstan, at 11s
3. Iván Cortina (Esp) Movistar, at 13s
4. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM-Firmenich
5. Max Poole (GBr) DSM-Firmenich
6. Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar
7. Imanol Erviti (Esp) Movistar
8. Enric Mas (Esp) Movistar
9. Augusto Einer Rubio (Col) Movistar
10. Sean Flynn (GBr) DSM-Firmenich, all at same time

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Chris Marshall-Bell

Chris first started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2013 on work experience and has since become a regular name in the magazine and on the website. Reporting from races, long interviews with riders from the peloton and riding features drive his love of writing about all things two wheels.

Probably a bit too obsessed with mountains, he was previously found playing and guiding in the Canadian Rockies, and now mostly lives in the Val d’Aran in the Spanish Pyrenees where he’s a ski instructor in the winter and cycling guide in the summer. He almost certainly holds the record for the most number of interviews conducted from snowy mountains.