Impressive Vingegaard drops rivals on Gran Camino climb

cycling23 February 2024 18:28| © AFP
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Two-time Tour de France champion Jonas Vingegaard put down a marker for the new season on Friday taking the overall lead at the Gran Camino race with a hilltop stage two triumph.

In blustery conditions, the slender Dane attacked the field from 6km with only a clutch of riders clinging to his back wheel.

The 2019 Tour de France winner Egan Bernal of Ineos was the most stubborn of his opponents but was also forced into submission, finishing 24 seconds adrift in second place.

Colombian climber Bernal is also second in the overall, 28sec behind the Visma-Lease a Bike leader.

Bernal's teammate Josh Tarling won Thursday's opening time-trial finishing over two minutes faster than Vingegaard, but due to gale-force winds the times were neutralised.

French protege Lenny Martinez, who weighs in at just 52kg, continued to impress.

The 20-year-old Groupama-FDJ climber finished fifth in the stage and sits level fourth in the overall standings alongside Cian Uijtdebroeks 50sec behind Vingegaard.

Saturday's third of four stages features four hills, while Sunday's finale features two category 1 climbs and a summit finale.