Vuelta a Espana: Gianni Meersman wins as Michal Kwiatkowski leads
By Matt Westby
Last Updated: 21/08/16 6:09pm
Michal Kwiatkowski took the overall lead of the Vuelta a Espana and Chris Froome climbed one place to fourth on a rolling second stage won by Belgium’s Gianni Meersman.
Meersman (Etixx - Quick-Step) claimed the first Grand Tour stage victory of his career by out-sprinting runner-up Michael Schwarzmann (Bora-Argon 18) and third-placed Magnus Cort Nielsen (Orica-BikeExchange) in Baiona.
Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) finished fourth and now replaces team-mate Peter Kennaugh, who was 33rd, at the top of the general classification due to superior cumulative stage placings.
Movistar pair Jose Joaquin Rojas and Alejandro Valverde are up to second and third respectively, with Froome (Team Sky) just behind after finishing safely in the peloton in 29th.
Meersman said: "I'm really happy. The Vuelta was my big goal for the last part of the season.
"I was really motivated. I told my wife, 'Watch the TV today because I really feel good'. I was really planning for this stage. Everything came together."
The Vuelta continues on Monday with a 170km third stage starting in Marin and ending with a category-three summit finish at Mirador de Ezaro. Find out more about the route in our race guide.
Stage two result
1 Gianni Meersman (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step, 4:16:39
2 Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-Argon 18, same time
3 Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) Orica-BikeExchange, st
4 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky, st
5 Jonas Van Genechten (Bel) IAM Cycling, st
6 Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Dimension Data, st
7 Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Trek-Segafredo, st
8 Jhonatan Restrepo (Col) Katusha, st
9 Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC Racing, st
10 Lorrenzo Manzin (Fra) FDJ.fr
1 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky, 4:47:16
2 Jose Joaquin Rojas (Esp) Movistar, same time
3 Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar, st
4 Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky, st
5 Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team Sky, st
6 Peter Kennaugh (GB) Team Sky, st
7 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar, st
8 Leopold Konig (Cze) Team Sky, st
9 Ruben Fernandez (Esp) Movistar, st
10 Jonathan Castroviejo (Esp) Movistar, st
40 Alberto Contador (Esp) Tinkoff, +52sec