La Vuelta: Meersman wins stage, Kwiatkowski leads
Aug 22 2016 12:25 am CET

La Vuelta: Meersman wins stage, Kwiatkowski leads
La Vuelta: Meersman wins stage, Kwiatkowski leads

Gianni Meersman of Etixx-QuickStep has won the second stage in the Vuelta a España ahead of Michael Schwarzmann of Bora-Argon 18 and Orica-BikeExchange's Magnus Cort Nielsen. Michal Kwiatkowski takes the overall lead.

As many of the world's top sprinters chose to be elsewhere due to the challenging profile of this year's Vuelta, others were handed a chance to go for victory as the peloton reached the city of Baiona in Galicia, Spain.

In order for those sprinters to take that chance however, they first had to control a breakaway involving Laurent Pichon of FDJ, Cesare Benedetti of Bora-Argon 18 and Bryan Nauleau of Direct Energie. Later on, the three were joined by Belgian champion Philippe Gilbert of BMC Racing Team.

As Gilbert joined those in the lead, the gap with the peloton was already down to about 25 seconds but for the Belgian it was enough to gain a few bonus seconds after winning the bonus sprint in the city of Vigo.

The four were caught at about 15 kilometers from the finish and several attacks were attempted in the next few minutes. The peloton properly controlled the situation though and forced a mass sprint.

A few crashes took place in the final kilometers. Sergey Lagutin of Katusha went down with two kilometers to go and Ryan Anderson of Direct Energie did so in the final meters. Both seemed affected but did get back onto their feet soon enough.

Meersman, by many seen as a favorite to win the stage, delivered by winning the sprint ahead of Schwarzmann, Cort Nielsen, Kwiatkowski and IAM Cycling's Jonas Van Genechten.

As a result of his fourth place, Kwiatkowski takes the lead in the general classification at the expense of his teamate Peter Kennaugh.

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Photo of Gianni Meersman (cropped) by Etixx-QuickStep





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