Kaden Groves sprints to victory on stage two of Volta a Catalunya as crosswinds and crashes impact race

BikeExchange-Jayco win second stage in a row but Simon Yates loses time after crash

Kaden Groves
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Kaden Groves of BikeExchange-Jayco sprinted to victory on stage two of the Volta a Catalunya after crashes and crosswinds affected the race.

The Australian won his team's second victory in the two stages so far, outsprinting Phil Bahaus (BikeExchange-Jayco) and Hugo Hofstetter (Arkéa-Samsic), led out by stage one's winner Michael Matthews.

It was not all plain sailing for BikeExchange, however, as their team leader Simon Yates lost 33 seconds due to a crash with 16km to go.

Crosswinds threatened to blow the race apart, with Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma), Hugh Carthy (EF Education-EasyPost) and Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) also losing time alongside Yates.

The race lead switched to Jonas Iversby Hvideberg (Team DSM) after he gained time in bonus seconds through the day.

How it happened

It was a nervous day in Catalunya as the peloton headed north from L'Escala to Perpignan. There was a threat of crosswinds breaking things apart all day, which meant all riders had to be switched on.

It looked destined for a sprint as the race went out of Spain to France, but that did not mean a calm day in the bunch, with multiple crashes and incidents throughout the day.

Jonas Iversby Hvideberg (Team DSM), who lead the king of the mountains classification, Joan Bou (Euskaltel - Euskadi) and Adrià Moreno (Burgos-BH) formed the day's break, establishing a lead of above five minutes at times.

Hvideberg claimed points on the three classified climbs of the day to cement his lead in the KOM competition. He also claimed five seconds in bonuses in the intermediate sprints.

A crash with 73km to go claimed seven riders, including the British rider Ethan Vernon (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), but they all returned to the peloton. There were multiple more crashes, but it was illness that claimed Richie Porte (Ineos Grenadiers), with the Australian forced to abandon.

The break was caught with 30km to go, with things being set up for a dramatic finish in the crosswinds.

Simon Yates was involved in a crash just outside the final 10km, which led to him chasing off the back of the peloton alongside Tom Dumoulin.

Crosswinds then impacted the race, splitting the packs apart and leaving a smaller group in front. The gap between the first and third groups was over 40 seconds at one point, although that did come down in the final kilometres.

Entering Perpignan, it was difficult to judge who was looking good for the day as various sprinters and team leaders had missed the all important split.

Entering the final kilometre, race leader Michael Matthews (BikeExchange-Jayco) was on the front pulling for his teammate Kaden Groves. However, Phil Bahaus (Bahrain Victorious) looked well positioned to take the win.

It was Groves who powered over the line just ahead of Bahaus in the end, taking his first WorldTour win in the process. Ethan Vernon (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) came fourth, his highest finish in his career so far.

Yates, Dumoulin and Hugh Carthy (EF Education-EasyPost) were among those to cross the line 33 seconds behind the lead group. The race lead switched to Hvideberg after the time he gained in the intermediate sprints.

The Norwegian now holds all four jerseys at the end of stage two.

Volta a Catalunya 2022, stage two: L'Escala to Perpignan (202.4km)

1. Kaden Groves (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco, in 4-44-28
2. Phil Bahaus (Deu) Bahrain-Victorious
3. Hugo Hoffstetter (Fra) Arkéa-Samsic
4. Ethan Vernon (GBr) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
5. Juan Sebastián Molano (Col) UAE Team Emirates
6. Manuel Peñalver (Esp) Burgos-BH
7. Michael Matthews (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco
8. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
9. Henri Vandenabeele (Bel) Team DSM
10. Mattias Skjelmose Jensen (Den) Trek-Segafredo, all at same time

General classification after stage two

1. Jonas Iversby Hvideberg (Nor) Team DSM
2. Michael Matthews (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco, at 1s
3. Hugo Hoffstetter (Fra) Arkéa-Samsic, at 7s
4. Mattias Skjelmose Jensen (Den) Trek-Segafredo, at 11s
5. Juan Sebastián Molano (Col) UAE Team Emirates
6. Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
7. Tobias Halland Johannessen (Nor) Uno-X
8. Sergio Higuita (Col) Bora-Hansgrohe
9. Jan Bakelants (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert
10. Sam Oomen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma, all at same time

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