Valverde wins stage two of Vuelta as Kwiatkowski takes red jersey

Alejandro Valverde

At 38, Alejandro Valverde is the second oldest Vuelta stage winner in history after 41-year-old Chris Horner

Spain’s Alejandro Valverde claimed victory on stage two of the Vuelta a Espana as Poland’s Michal Kwiatkowski took the red jersey.

Valverde held off Team Sky’s Kwiatkowski in a tight 50-metre sprint to secure victory in front of a partisan crowd in Caminito del Rey.

Kwiatkowski, who finished second in Saturday’s time trial, has a 14-second lead over Valverde in the standings.

Britain’s Simon Yates is in 12th place overall.

Quick Step’s Laurens de Plus took third place on the stage, finishing three seconds behind the winner.

BMC Racing’s Rohan Dennis, who won the first stage, suffered a puncture early in the 163.5km stage and was dropped with 17km remaining.

Kwiatkowski, the Polish national champion, attacked with 500 metres remaining, but was chased down by Valverde.

World champion Peter Sagan and Australia’s Richie Porte both struggled with illness throughout, and finished well behind the leaders.

Last year’s runner-up Vincenzo Nibali also struggled, leaving him in 82nd in the general classification.

Ireland’s Daniel Martin finished one minute 15 seconds back – 11 seconds in front of Britain’s Tao Geoghegan Hart. Fellow Britons Adam Yates and Steve Cummings finished 149th and 170th place respectively.

Monday’s third stage is 178.2km from Mijas to Alhaurin de la Torre.

Stage two result

  1. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar Team) 4 hours 13 minutes 01 seconds
  2. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol/Team Sky) Same time
  3. Laurens de Plus (Bel/Quick-Step Floors) +3secs
  4. Wilco Kelderman (Ned/Team Sunweb) Same time
  5. George Bennett (NZ/LottoNL-Jumbo)
  6. Tony Gallopin (Fra/AG2R La Mondiale)
  7. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger/Bora-Hansgrohe)
  8. Rigoberto Uran (Col/EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale)
  9. Nairo Quintana (Col/Movistar Team)
  10. Thibaut Pinot (Fra/Groupama-FDJ)

Selected others

General classification

  1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol/Team Sky) 4 hours 22 minutes 46 seconds
  2. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar Team) +14secs
  3. Wilco Kelderman (Ned/Team Sunweb) +25secs
  4. Laurens de Plus (Bel/Quick-Step Floors) +28secs
  5. Ion Izagirre (Spa/Bahrain-Merida) +30secs
  6. Fabio Felline (Ita/Trek-Segafredo) Same time
  7. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger/Bora-Hansgrohe) +32secs
  8. Tony Gallopin (Fra/AG2R La Mondiale) +33secs
  9. Nairo Quintana (Col/Movistar Team) Same time
  10. Bauke Mollema (Ned/Trek-Segafredo) +35secs

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