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AFP / Yuzuru Sunada
German three-time world time-trial champion Tony Martin claimed victory on the second stage of the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco on Tuesday. The Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider broke clear in the final stages of the 155.8km ride from Ordizia to Urdazubi to finish 30 seconds ahead of Britain’s Ben Swift (Sky) and Polish teammate Michal Kwiatowski in second and third respectively.
“I came here to try and do something good in the GC,” Martin said. “But yesterday the final was too hard for a rider like me. So after yesterday I decided to focus on the breakaways and of course the TT. This morning I was really motivated. Everybody wanted to try and go. Jan and I went, and for OPQS it was the perfect situation. We collaborated really well with the other guys in the breakaway. The final was really hard. It wasn’t really long climbs, but a lot of up and down like a small Amstel Gold Race. At 15 kilometers to go we knew to try and win this race it would be important to go 100 percent and not wait. So, I attacked the breakaway. Bakelants and Izaguirre followed me, and then together with Jan we played a game of attacking one-by-one. When we were with three guys, Bakelants attacked, Izaguirre answered, and at that point I counter attacked. When I went, to me it was kind of like a time trial until the end. I knew in the last 10 kilometers it was possible to win with a 1 minute gap. I want to also thank Jan, because he let me go and he gave up his chance in my favor. This is the team spirit of OPQS and the victory is also for him and the whole team.”
Former two-time Tour de France champion Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) maintained his lead in the overall classification, 14 seconds ahead of compatriot Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) with Kwiatowski back in third.
Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco Stage 2
1. Tony Martin (GER/OPQ) 3:46:17
2. Ben Swift (ENG/SKY) @ :30
3. Michal Kwiatkowski (POL/OPQ) @ s.t.
4. Damiano Cunego (ITA/LAM)
5. Paul Martens (GER/BKN)
6. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV)
7. Maxim Iglinskiy (KAZ/AST)
8. Yukiya Arashiro (JPN/EUC)
9. Michael Matthews (AUS/ORI)
10. Rinaldo Nocentini (ITA/ALM)
General Classification After Stage 2
1. Alberto Contador (ESP/TIN) 7:51:54
2. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) @ :14
3. Michal Kwiatkowski (POL/OPQ) @ :34
4. Damiano Cunego (ITA/LAM) @ :36
5. Cadel Evans (AUS/BMC) @ s.t.
6. Jean Christophe Peraud (FRA/ALM)
7. Mikel Nieve (ESP/SKY)
8. Yury Trofimov (RUS/KAT) @ :36
9. Roman Kreuziger (CZE/TIN) @ :54
10. Mikel Landa (ESP/AST) @ s.t.