Thursday 22 February 2018

Cycling: Cavendish stays in red

Yauheni Hutarovich claimed victory on the second stage of the Vuelta a Espana yesterday after stunning Mark Cavendish in a sprint finish, although it was not enough to wrest the leader's red jersey from the Manx rider.

Hutarovich, of the Francaise des Jeux team, scorched past favourite Cavendish following a bunch sprint at the end of the 173.7km ride from Alcala de Guadaira to Marbella to win in four hours, 35 minutes and 41 seconds.

Cavendish was second, and keeps the overall lead after helping his HTC-Columbia team win the team time-trial on the opening day. American Tyler Farrar was third, Alessandro Petacchi of Italy fourth.

On a sweltering hot day in the south of Spain, a group of four riders -- Javier Ramirez Abeja, Mickael Buffaz, Johnnie Walker and Mickael Delage -- broke away after four kilometres and boasted an advantage of over seven minutes a third of the way through.

The quartet lost Buffaz when the Swiss suffered a fractured collarbone, although they were caught by Marcos Garcia at around the 129km mark after the Spaniard staged a solo breakaway.

However, the four leaders were caught with 10km to go to set up a sprint finish in which Hutarovich claimed his first Vuelta stage win.

Irish Independent

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