Valverde leads Catalunya; De Vos on top in Langkawi: Daily News Digest

by Neal Rogers

March 21, 2018

In today’s Daily News Digest: Valverde wins Stage 2 sprint at Catalunya, moves into GC lead; Canadian Adam de Vos (Rally Cycling) solos to Stage 3 win, GC lead at Tour de Langkawi; Cape Epic: Cannondale men, Specialized women win again on Stage 2; Autonomous Uber car kills cyclist walking bike across road in Arizona; Stage 3 summit finish at Volta a Catalunya is cancelled; 2018 Colorado Classic announces route details in Vail; Shimano patents disc rotor cover; Steele von Hoff back racing four weeks after breaking his backl Santa Cruz bring back Blur and revamp HighBall cross-country bikes; RockyMounts issues voluntary recall of SplitRail and MonoRail hitch racks; Video: World champ Jolanda Neff’s impressive wheelie; Video: 1928 Penny Farthing Race in London.

Valverde wins Stage 2 sprint at Catalunya, moves into GC lead

by CyclingTips

Spanish veteran Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) won a slight uphill sprint into a headwind to take Stage 2 of the Volta Catalunya Tuesday in Valls, edging out Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) and Jay McCarthy (Bora-Hansgrohe). The 37-year-old from Murcia moved into the race lead, four seconds ahead of McCarthy and six seconds ahead of Impey.

Stage 1 winner Alvaro Hodeg (QuickStep Floors) led going into the 175 kilometre stage from Mataro to Valls, the hometown of the late professional Xavier Tondo. Hodeg is in strong form, but the second category climb close to the finish was always going to make it difficult for the young Colombian to hold the leader’s jersey, and so it proved.

Very early on Mikel Bizkarra (Euskadi), Igor Merino (Burgos) and Antonio Molina (Caja Rural) got away and built a three-minute lead. This was reduced, then went out again to over two minutes. Andrey Grivko (Astana) later bridged up and pushed ahead, but was hauled back; ditto for Cyril Barthe (Euskadi), who led for some time, but was reeled in after netting top points at the final intermediate sprint. Valverde and teammate Nairo Quintana took second and third, picking up bonus seconds for the GC.

Pierre Latour (AG2R-La Mondiale) then attacked over the top of the second category climb, but a regrouping set things up for a group sprint. McCarthy went for the victory but faded, with Valverde holding off Impey for the stage win.

“The finish rose slightly, I know it very well and that it is a good finish for me. and José Joaquín [Rojas]’s work from the top of the climb was great and kept me well placed,” Valverde said in a team press release. “Here in Valls I have won in all possible ways: sprint, solo … It is always nice to triumph here and be able to dedicate it to our friend Xavi Tondo, whom we always remember, wherever we go.”