Belgian rider Jens Keukeleire (Orica-GreenEdge) earned an impressive victory in stage 2 of the Vuelta a Burgos in a short, tricky ascent to the Roman Village of Clunia. Keukeleire, along with his teammate Mitchell Docker, neutralized a move by Nairo Quintana (Movistar) in the last kilometer, and then Jeffrey Romero (Colombia) counterattacked, but his hopes were terminated when Keukeleire roared by for the win. Italians Rinaldo Nocentini (Ag2r) and Dario Cataldo (Sky) were second and third, while the fourth rider across the finish line, Anthony Roux (FDJ), took profit from the gap opened in the closing meters between the first group and the main peloton to snatch the purple leader’s jersey away from Simone Ponzi (Astana).
For Roux, getting that honor today was almost duty. «My team worked perfectly for me the whole day. My legs couldn’t let me nor my teammates down, and they didn’t. Getting a reassuring result like this is very important».
Meanwhile, Keukeleire showed himself grateful to his squad, which yesterday renewed his contract and today set him up for victory. «I would like to thank Orica-GreenEdge for these great last two years and for offering me to sign for another two years, and what a way to celebrate this with a victory in Burgos. I saw an amazing team leading me into perfect position,» tweeted the Belgian rider.
Clunia’s stage is a classic ride at Vuelta a Burgos. Despite developing mostly at rolling terrain, it ends up being tiring for the riders because of the wind and the inherent tension. Today, the wind didn’t blow too much, but still the bunch suffered from nerves.
The most relevant breakaway of the day contained Fabricio Ferrari (Caja Rural), Christian Meier (Orica), Jesús Herrada (Movistar), Pello Bilbao (Euskaltel), Luis Mas (Burgos BH); Jon Larrinaga and Unai Iparragirre (Euskadi). The ones who took the most out of the skirmish were Ferrari, who strengthened his leadership of the intermediate sprints classification, and Mas, who won the most aggressive rider award.
The catch from the bunch, driven by Astana and Cannondale to defend the likes of Ponzi and Ratto without reward, was inevitable and happened with 6 kilometers to go.