Valverde takes emotional victory on stage 2 of Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana; Carnage in the crosswinds: How a chaotic stage 1 of the Sun Tour unfolded; Laporte seizes stage 2 victory at Etoile de Besseges over embarrassed Coquard; Report: Froome case moves next step towards judgement; Giro race director calls on UCI to clarify Froome situation; New sea-level world record for Glaetzer at Australian track nationals; Brodie Chapman’s journey from unknown rider to Herald Sun Tour champ; Quintana and Henao spearhead Movistar and Sky teams in new Colombian race; LeMond takes up special roles with Velodrome Development Foundation and World Cycling League; Atlantic City set to host 2018 USA Crits series finals; Time Alpe d’Huez climbing bike unveiled; SRAM launches its first direct-mount rim brake, the S-900; Analysing the Strava/secret military instalments fiasco; Video: Netherlands builds highway for bikes
Valverde wins in Valencia; Alpe d’Huez climbing bike launched: Daily News Digest
A costly early celebration by Bryan Coquard (Vital Concept Club) saw the Frenchman lose victory on stage two of the Etoile de Besseges in Generac on Thursday. Compatriot Christophe Laporte was running close to him in the sprint and with Coquard beginning to raise his arms rather than executing a bike throw, the Cofidis rider was able to edge past.
— la chaine L’ÉQUIPE (@lachainelequipe) February 1, 2018
Belgian riders Timothy Dupont (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Amaury Capiot (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) and Emiel Vermeulen (Roubaix Lille Metropole) were next across the line in the gallop. Stage one winner Marc Sarreau (FDJ) took sixth, but conceded the race lead to Laporte. Coquard is now second with Sarreau third; both are on the same time as Laporte.
After ten kilometres of racing, Michael Van Staeyen (Cofidis), Romain Combaud (Delko Marseille-Provence KTM), and Jérémy Cabot (Roubaix-Lille Métropole) scurried clear. Combaud then pushed on alone, and while he was hauled back, he went again. Pierre Idjouadiene (Roubaix-Lille Metropole), Jimmy Turgis (Cofdis) and Davide Gabburo (Amore & Vita-Prodir) bridged across, with Kevin Le Cunff (St-Michel-Auber 93) and Dries van Gestel (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) later joining.
The sextet built a lead of almost five minutes, but the inevitable chase saw this advantage reduced and both Idjouadiene and Gabburo to crack and be caught. The other four continued on but were finally reeled in with a kilometres to go.