Monday, May 20, 2024

La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 2; Algeciras – San Fernando 174.4km. Bold Bouhanni


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Stage Two had been hailed as one where the cross winds could blow things apart from the off but fortunately the Weather Gods remained benign and we were treated to a high speed finale where F des J and Bouhanni demonstrated again that they know exactly how to handle fast, technical finales.

The wiry Frenchman was in a class all of his own after a beautiful lead out by his boys and in particular last man in the train, Geoffrey Soupe who rode a magnificent finale for his Capo.

Bouhanni is now on 10 UCI wins for the season including four Grand Tour Stages and with his current form there’s little to indicate he won’t add more notches to his top tube before Santiago is reached in three weeks time.

Nacer Bouhanni had a straightforward run to the line. Photo©Unipublic

Degenkolb was well beaten into second and it’s clear he’ll have to wait for the finishes where there’s more to it than a warp factor drag race.

In third spot was Lampre’s Roberto Ferrari, he likes the finales technical so this was maybe his best shot at topping the podium?

Respect to Caja Rural’s Francesco Lasca in fifth spot – always good to see the Pro Conti guys up there.

And good too that MTN were in the break of the day – ‘honouring the race.’

Tomorrow’s Stage Three starts on an aircraft carrier in the famous sea port of Cadiz and finishes 188 K later atop a short, sharp dig in Arcos de la Frontera.

It could be one for the breakaway but GreenEDGE may control it for Clarke and Matthews – and maybe Yates? – which would suit Rodriguez and Valverde just fine.

Ale Valverde in charge for now. Photo©Unipublic

And on the subject of the ‘The Green Bullet’ – Valverde’s now apparently defunct nickname – I fail to see why he’s subject to so much commentator and Troll wrath.

He kitted up and was caught; if he wants to keep his mouth shut about it then that’s his choice.

Tour of Colorado ‘hero’ Tom Danielson is in exactly the same situation as Valverde, a rider who kitted up and was caught – but apparently a litre or two of crocodile tears is all you need to become a ‘good doper’ and make it all better…