Defending the red jersey
Nicholas Roche already won stages at La Vuelta in 2013 and 2015 but he only stayed in red for one day last time. This year, he hopes to change that.
“I will defend it for as long as I can,” Roche said firmly. Can he pull off an “Alaphilippe”?
Just one word for now… Happy.
— nicholas roche (@nicholasroche) August 25, 2019
With the sprints coming in the next days, Sunweb’s sports director Luke Roberts believes the Irishman could keep the red through stage five.
However, he was lucky to don it at all. Nairo Quintana attacked on the final climb, won the stage and now sits just two seconds down on Roche in the GC. The 35-year-old focused on Rigoberto Urán who was the closest guy behind him in the GC before stage 2 started and staying in front of him was enough in the end.
Vuelta a España 2019: Stage 2
1. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) – 5:11:17
2. Nicolas Roche (Sunweb) + 5s
3. Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma)
4. Rigoberto Urán (EF Education First)
5. Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates)
6. Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-Scott) + 8s
7. Sergio Higuita (EF Education First) + 37s
8. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates)
9. Alex Aranburu (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA)
10. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)
General classification after stage 2
1. Nicolas Roche (Sunweb) – 5:26:12
2. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) + 2s
3. Rigoberto Urán (EF Education First) + 8s
4. Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-Scott) + 22s
5. Miguel Ángel López (Astana) + 33s
6. Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) + 36s
7. Wilco Kelderman (Sunweb) + 38s
8. Sergio Higuita (EF Education First) + 40s
9. Davide Formolo (Bora-Hansgrohe) + 46s
10. Rafał Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe, the same time
Watch out for yourself
They are thin
I’m not saying the walls in my hotel room in Japan are thin, but when the guy next door sneezed and I said “bless you”, I heard a “thank you” afterwards.
— Chris Hoy (@chrishoy) August 19, 2019
Somebody should check up on him
I thought @procyclingstats had been hacked with some horrific subliminal message, before I realised Google had just decided to translate the names. pic.twitter.com/QzZaxz4zOk
— Daniel Lloyd (@daniellloyd1) August 19, 2019