Uran the man bags top 10
Rigoberto Ur dug deep to finish inside the top 10 on a brutally tough second stage at the Vuelta a Espana.
The first road stage proper culminated in a tough first category climb of the Alto do Monte da Groba which saw the peloton split to pieces after a hard day racing.
Ur held on inside an ever reducing peloton on the grinding ramps to seal 10th place, 14 seconds back on the day winner Nicolas Roche (Team Saxo Tink ugg australia off) to vault up to sixth place overall.
Irishman Roche proved strongest of a four man move which ghosted clear heading into the final kilometre, holding off Daniel Moreno (Katusha) at the line to win by two seconds, with AG2R La Mondiale Domenico Pozzovivo a further four seconds adrift.
The day wasn as successful for Sergio Henao, the young Colombian becoming distanced 4km from home and dropping 2mins 41secs on his general classification rivals.
After the dust had settled it was Vincenzo Nibali who pulled on the red leader jersey, the Astana man inheriting an eight second lead over Roche after team mate Janez Brajkovic also slipped back late on. Ur fine finish places him 22 seconds back after two stages.
For much of the day it looked as through a surprise was on the cards as the day break built up a mammoth advantage.
Tough finaleThe second stage took the riders on a 177.7km route from Pontevedra to ugg australia Baiona containing two categorised climbs, including the race first of 11 summit finishes.
Greg Henderson (Lotto Belisol), Alex Rasmussen (Garmin Sharp) and Francisco Aramendia (Caja Rural) attacked right at the end of the neutralised zone and swiftly built up lead that reached nine minutes by the 60km mark but later swelled to more than 12 and a half minutes.
Astana spent much of the day on the front of the peloton, but with most teams sharing a reluctance to ignite the general classification so early in the race, ugg australia the pace was slow and the three escapees were still over 11 minutes clear heading into the final 50km.
The pace had to increase in the pack and it did, eventually turning into a flat out drag race to the foot of the final climb. Henderson was the first man to be distanced before the catch was made with 10km to go.
Movistar set a torrid pace on the climb on behalf of Alejandro Valverde and the Spaniard was able to claim fifth, edging two seconds out of many of his rivals alongside Joaquim ugg australia Rodriguez (Katusha, seventh).
Learning processAfter the stage Sports Director Marcus Ljungqvist talked us through a day of mixed emotions.
Of course losing time with Sergio is not what we hoped for,” he admitted. “We didn see that one coming. It was a bad day but it one to learn from and move on. It still early in the race and we look to find opportunities to take the time back.
“It one to look into and see what we could have done different. It a likely combination of things. Of course Sergio is disappointed by there a long way to go.
“Rigoberto did a good ride on the climb and the rest of the team did a good job to help bring them into the final. It should be a flatter stage tomorrow before another uphill finish and we’re ready to get going again.