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Martin and Roche climb GC after day of vigilance

Posted 22 August 2011

Dan Martin and Nicolas Roche’s efforts to steer clear of crashes saw them progress through the general classification at the Vuelta á Espana after finishing towards the head of the peloton on stage two to Playas de Orihuela.

Roche (AG2R La Mondiale) placed 23rd in the sprint finish won by Team Sky’s Chris Sutton while Martin (Garmin Cervelo) was eight places further back in 31st position.

Sutton made the most of the technical finish to claim his first victory in a Grand Tour outsprinting Vincent Reynes (Omega Pharma Lotto) and Marcel Kittel (Skil Shimano).

The stage was dominated by a four-man breakaway with Roche’s AG2R La Mondiale teammate Steve Houanard, Adam Hansen (Omega Pharma Lotto), Jesus Rosendo (Andalucia-Caja Granada) and Paul Martens (Rabobank) going clear after three kilometres.

The quartert held a lead of around five minutes for much of the day but were brought to heel by the HTC-Highroad team as the race entered the final 33 kilometres. Hansen persisted but his attempt to go solo came to an end just 18 kilometres from the finish.

Reynes pulled clear on the short climb to the finish but was overhauled by Sutton who outclassed the big named sprinters to add the stage win to his success in this year’s Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne.

Martin climbed twenty-three places to 35th in the GC where he remains 25 seconds off the race lead as Daniele Bennati (Leopard Trek) moved into the leader’s red jersey. Roche has jumped to 71st place having preserved his deficit of 42 seconds.

Both riders will be focused on staying out of trouble and avoiding splits on stage three from Petrer to Totan. The 163 kilometre stage features two category three climbs in the final 47 kilometres before the downhill finish.

Results:

Vuelta á Espana

Stage 2: La Nucia – Playas de Orihuela, 175.5 kilometres

1.  Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky Procycling 4:11:41
2.  Vicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) Omega Pharma-Lotto
3.  Marcel Kittel (Ger) Skil - Shimano
4.  Tyler Farrar (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo
5.  Matti Breschel (Den) Rabobank Cycling Team
6.  Daniele Bennati (Ita) Leopard Trek
7.  Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Pro Team Astana
8.  Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
9.  Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha Team
10. John Degenkolb (Ger) HTC-Highroad

23. Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale – same time
31. Dan Martin (Irl) Garmin Cervelo – same time

General classification after stage 2:

1.  Daniele Bennati (Ita) Leopard Trek 4:28:11
2.  Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Leopard Trek
3.  Maxime Monfort (Bel) Leopard Trek
4.  Thomas Rohregger (Aut) Leopard Trek
5.  Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:00:04
6.  Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
7.  Eros Capecchi (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
8.  Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
9.  Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
10.  John Degenkolb (Ger) HTC-Highroad 0:00:09

35. Dan Martin (Irl) Garmin Cervelo at 25 seconds
71 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale at 42 seconds

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