[Needless to say, this is written post-E3, so it's just a quick update.]
Movistar's Alejandro Valverde escaped the peloton inside the final 3km for the stage victory in Valls, his second stage win at the Volta a Catalunya. Meanwhile, overnight leader Bart De Clercq finally ceded the remainder of his lead gained in a long stage 1 escape by faltering on the day's final climb. Now all three of the escapees have been erased, and the lead falls to Sky's Richie Porte, who made his move over his rivals on yesterday's Queen Stage and now holds a five-second advantage over AG2R's Domenico Pozzovivo.
Crosswinds turned a downhill stage into a deadly one for De Clercq and company, desperate to hold on to his surprise advantage. The field was shattered into many pieces on the approach to Valls, and Dan Martin of Cannondale-Garmin was another to lose time when the winds shredded what could have been a peaceful stage. Valverde eventually caught his rivals napping at the front for the win, but the remaining favorites finished together, save Martin.
|1||AUS||Richie Porte||SKY||22u58'20 "|
|2||ITA||Domenico Pozzovivo||ALM||+5 "|
|3||SPA||Alberto Contador||TCS||+7 "|
|4||SPA||Alejandro Valverde||MOV||+16 "|
|5||COL||Rigoberto Uran||EQS||+18 "|
|6||ITA||Fabio Aru||AST||+27 "|
|7||COL||Darwin Atapuma||BMC||+33 "|
|8||SPA||Rafael Valls||LAM||+43 "|
|9||NED||Wilco Kelderman||TLJ||+ 1'09 "|
|10||IPR||Daniel Martin||TCG||+ 1'35 "|
Alp - Valls 195.4 km
Back to Trickyfinishtown, no wonder no sprinters bothered showing up.
Crema Catalana of the day: Samuel Sanchez
Picking SamSan for a downhill finish just seems comfortable and reassuring somehow. Stick to the classics.