Nairo Quintana takes memorable victory in stage 2 of the Vuelta


Nairo Quintana won the first individual stage of the Vuelta a Espana in Calpe on Sunday after he escaped a star-studded six-man breakaway group in the last three kilometres to clinch victory.

“It’s special, I’ve never won like this before. This is a first,” Quintana, who won the race in 2016, told the TV cameras immediately after the finish. “I needed it and so did the team. We worked in good harmony and did a good job.”

Quintana was chased across the line by Nicolas Roche (Team Sunweb) who took the overall lead after two days of racing.

The Irishman also wore the red jersey of Vuelta leader for one day in 2013.

“I am delighted, I have no words,” said Roche.

He added that he wanted keep the leader’s jersey “as long as possible.”

“But the last time I said that, it only lasted one day. I hope that this time I can have it a little longer,” he said.

After opening with a short team trial on Saturday, the Vuelta took to the hills with a 199.6km run inland from Benidorm to Calpe that included several sharp climbs.

Quintana and Rigoberto Uran were part a powerful group that escaped on the final climb, 25 kilometres out. The Movistar rider accelerated clear on a small climb with three kilometres left.

As the other five riders hesitated, he built enough of a lead to survive when a couple finally gave chase. He crossed the line five seconds ahead of Roche.

Primoz Roglic, trying to regain time after his Jumbo-Visma team’s mass crash on the first stage, was third.

The main pack, including Miguel Angel Lopez, the Colombian who started the day in the overall lead, finished 37 seconds behind.

Vuelta a Espana 2019 – stage 2 results (Benidorm – Calpe):

1Nairo Quintana (Movistar)


2Nicolas Roche (Team Sunweb)


3Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma)


4Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First)


5Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates)


6Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-Scott)


7Sergio Higuita (EF Education First)


8Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates)


9Alexander Aranburu (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA)


10Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)


11Pierre Latour (AG2R La Mondiale)


12Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb)


13Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott)


14George Bennett (Jumbo-Visma)


15Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana)


16Davide Formolo (Bora-hansgrohe)


17Victor De La Parte (CCC)


18Rafal Majka (Bora-hansgrohe)


19Jesus Herrada (Cofidis)


20Zdenek Stybar (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)



Vuelta a Espana 2019 – general classification after stage 2:

1Nicolas Roche (Team Sunweb)


2Nairo Quintana (Movistar)


3Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First)


4Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-Scott)


5Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana)


6Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma)


7Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb)


8Sergio Higuita (EF Education First)


9Davide Formolo (Bora-hansgrohe)


10Rafal Majka (Bora-hansgrohe)


11Victor De La Parte (CCC)


12Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)


13Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott)


14Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates)


15Alexander Aranburu (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA)


16Pierre Latour (AG2R La Mondiale)


17George Bennett (Jumbo-Visma)


18Jesus Herrada (Cofidis)


19Zdenek Stybar (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)


20Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana)



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