Ruta del Sol: Großschartner and Owsian among the strongest on stage 2

Felix Großschartner finished in 13th place on the Stage 2 of Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol and Łukasz Owsian tried a late attack from the 60-man group from which the winner was eventually selected.

The stage was mostly flat, but it wasn’t going to be a day for the typical sprinters. Cat. 3 climb located 23 kilometers from the line, was expected to make the selection. Unfortunately Victor de la Parte couldn’t participate in that competition, since he had to abandon before the stage, due to fever.

After nearly 35 kilometers of racing, which saw many breakaway attempts and the peloton split into two pieces, the escape was finally formed. It included Ruben Pols (Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise), Reinier Honing (Roompot – Oranje Peloton), Pablo Torres (Burgos-BH) and Aitor González  (Euskadi Basque Country – Murias). They established almost 4 minutes of advantage.

The group kept the break on a 3-minute leash and decided to catch the escapees before the only climb of the day, with 30 kilometers to go. On the hill Kanstantsin Siutsou (Dimension Data) tried a solo move, but a 20-second gap couldn’t be enough to outpace the bunch. After him, also Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) and Daniel Moreno (Movistar) made an attempt to break clear but everything came back together.

The peloton would crack and merge in the last few kilometers and the stage was decided in a 60-man bunch sprint finish. Łukasz Owsian made an unexpected move after the flamme rouge and attacked behind one of the Dimension Data riders. It was a brave, but unsuccessful try, which ended 300 meters from the line.

Eventually it was Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis, Solutions Crédits) who grabbed the win, besting Fabio Felline (Trek – Segafredo) and Ben Swift (Team Sky). Felix Großschartner was the team’s top finisher, as he claimed 13th place and now sits in 33rd in GC (with the same time as the leader, Bouhanni).