Yauheni Hutarovich (Francaise des Jeux) caused an upset on stage two of the 2010 Vuelta a Espana by denying the major sprint stars a victory.
The Belarusian surprisingly out-paced race leader Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia), Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Transitions) and Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre) to take the win in Marbella.
Second-placed on the stage, Cavendish retained the overall race lead after his HTC-Columbia team won Saturday’s opening team time trial in Seville. Cavendish’s team-mates Kanstantsin Sivtsov and Peter Velits are second and third overall respectively, both at 12 seconds.
Team Sky Briton Ben Swift placed a creditable seventh on the stage.
An earlier four-man breakaway ended in distaster for French escapee Mickael Buffaz (Cofidis), who crashed at the foot of the day’s only categorised climb, Alto de Pruna, and broke his collarbone. The escape group was caught within the final 13km, bringing thebunch together for a sprint showdown.
Hutarovich now leads the points classification ahead of Cavendish, although there was some confusion after the stage exactly who lead the competition with Cavendish pulling on green jersey emblazoned with a Francaise des Jeux logo.
Hot conditions stifle riders
Many riders suffered during the stage due to the intense heat, with the temperatures hovering in the low 40s centigrade. Race leader and pre-stage favourite Mark Cavendish admitted that he felt less than great during the stage, particularly in the first half.
“I suffered a lot during the stage and only felt good after we reached the coast when the weather cooled down a lot,” Cavendish said after the stage. “At the end of the day, I just wasn’t fast enough. Hutarovich deserved the win, he did an incredible sprint, so I can’t be disappointed.”
The riders will be praying for cooler weather for Monday’s hilly third stage from Marbella to Malaga. It’s a 157.3km route bookended by two categorised climbs: the second category Puerto de Ojen peaking at 8.7km and the first category Puerto del Leon, 37km from the finish.
Vuelta a Espana 2010, stage two: Alcala de Guadaira to Marbella, 173.7km
1. Yaheni Hutarovich (Blr) Francaise des Jeux
2. Mark Cavendish (GB) HTC-Columbia
3. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Transitions
4. Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre
5. Manuel Cardoso (Por) Footon-Servetto
6. Koldo Fernandez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
7. Ben Swift (GB) Team Sky
8. Robert Forster (Ger) Milram
9. Denis Galimzyanov (Rus) Katusha
10. Andreas Stauff (Ger) Quick Step all same time
Overall classification after stage two
1. Mark Cavendish (GB) HTC-Columbia
2. Kanstantsin Sivtsov (Blr) HTC-Columbia at 12 secs
3. Peter Velits (Svk) HTC-Columbia at 12 secs
4. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) HTC-Columbia at 12 secs
5. Matthew Goss (Aus) HTC-Columbia at 12 secs
6. Hayden Roulston (NZ) HTC-Columbia at 12 secs
7. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Transitions at 21 secs
8. Daniele Bennati (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo at 22 secs
9. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo at 22 secs
10. Frederik Willems (Bel) Liquigas-Doimo at 22 secs
Mickael Buffaz, Mickael Delage, Javier Ramirez and Johnnie Walker in the early break
Race leader Mark Cavendish and David Millar
HTC-Columbia toil in the heat
Get the drinks in
Yaheni Hutarovich wins ahead of race leader Mark Cavendish
Oops: Mark Cavendish puts on the green points jersey, it should have gone to Yaheni Hutarovich
Mark Cavendish, race leader
Vuelta a Espana 2010: Related links
Vuelta stage one: Cavendish leads after HTC-Columbia win team time trial
Vuelta a Espana 2010: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index