The opening acts of this year’s Vuelta a España have been drenched, causing chaos and impacting outcomes, but through the downpour, Lotto Dstny’s Andreas Kron clinched a heartfelt victory in the event’s waterlogged second stage.
Mother Nature had her say in this 181.8 km stage, forcing race officials to record the general classification times just nine kilometers before the finish line in Barcelona. At this juncture, Andrea Piccolo from EF Education-Easy Post had a razor-thin lead over Javier Romo of Astana, securing the coveted leader’s red jersey for himself.
However, the real drama unfolded on the Montjuic climb, where Kron made his decisive move to claim the stage. The 25-year-old Dane looked heavenward as he broke the tape, dedicating his win to his recently deceased teammate Tijl De Decker, who tragically lost his life in a training accident last Friday.
“I’ve always planned to dedicate my first Grand Tour win to my late mom,” Kron admitted in a post-race interview, “but given the dark cloud hanging over our team right now, it felt right to dedicate this one to Tijl. My mom will just have to be patient; hopefully, the next win isn’t too far off.”
Kron sealed his victory with a seven-second lead over Kaden Groves of Alpecin-Deceuninck and Andrea Vendrame from AG2R Citroen. As rain continued to be a relentless adversary, the favorites for the Vuelta title chose discretion over valor, content to finish with the main pack.
Last year’s champ, Remco Evenepoel, had his own set of woes, grappling with a flat tire early on. Meanwhile, British cyclist Geraint Thomas and the triple Vuelta winner Primoz Roglic both found themselves picking themselves up off the pavement after crashes, before battling their way back to the peloton.
The wet conditions had been a constant in this year’s Vuelta, with Saturday’s inaugural time trial in Barcelona resembling more of a water slide than a bike race. Several cyclists took spills as nightfall approached, making for a soggy start to the annual event.
Stage Two Standings:
- Andreas Kron (Denmark/Lotto-Dstny) – 4 hours, 10 minutes, 6 seconds
- Kaden Groves (Australia/Alpecin-Deceuninck) – same time
- Andrea Vendrame (Italy/AG2R-Citroen Team) – same time
- Andrea Bagioli (Italy/Soudal-Quick-Step) – same time
- Fernando Barcelo (Spain/Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) – same time
- Ivan Garcia (Spain/Movistar Team) – same time
- Romain Gregoire (France/Groupama-FDJ) – same time
- Lennert Van Eetvelt (Belgium/Lotto-Dstny) – same time
- Marijn van den Berg (Netherlands/EF Education-EasyPost) – same time
- Kobe Goossens (Belgium/Intermarche-Circus-Wanty) – same time
Overall Standings After Stage Two:
- Andrea Piccolo (Italy/EF Education-EasyPost) – 4 hours, 27 minutes, 23 seconds
- Javier Romo (Spain/Astana-Qazaqstan) – +11 seconds
- Ivan Garcia (Spain/Movistar) – +13 seconds
- Romain Bardet (France/DSM-Firmenich) – same time
- Max Poole (Great Britain/DSM-Firmenich) – same time
- Nelson Oliveira (Portugal/Movistar) – same time
- Imanol Erviti (Spain/Movistar) – same time
- Enric Mas (Spain/Movistar) – same time
- Einer Rubio (Colombia/Movistar) – same time
- Sean Flynn (Great Britain/DSM-Firmenich) – same time
So there you have it, folks. It’s been a Vuelta a España that’s about as stable as a house of cards in a windstorm. And if this is how it starts, you can only imagine what the rest of the race will bring. Hold onto your helmets; it’s going to be a wild ride!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Vuelta a España
Who won the second stage of the 2023 Vuelta a España?
Andreas Kron of the Lotto Dstny team won the second stage of the 2023 Vuelta a España.
To whom did Andreas Kron dedicate his stage win?
Andreas Kron dedicated his emotional stage win to his late teammate, Tijl De Decker, who passed away following a training accident.
What was the weather like during the second stage?
The second stage was heavily affected by rain, which had an impact on the general classification times and overall race conditions.
Who was leading in the general classification after the second stage?
Andrea Piccolo from the EF Education-Easy Post team secured the leader’s red jersey after the second stage.
Did any major racers face difficulties during the stage?
Yes, defending champion Remco Evenepoel had to deal with a flat tire early in the race. Additionally, Britain’s Geraint Thomas and three-time winner Primoz Roglic both experienced crashes but managed to rejoin the peloton.
How long was the second stage of the Vuelta a España?
The second stage covered a distance of 181.8 km.
Where did the second stage end?
The second stage concluded in Barcelona, Spain.
What obstacles did the cyclists face apart from competition?
Besides the competitive element, cyclists had to contend with extremely wet conditions. Heavy rain led to slippery roads, making the stage especially challenging.
What was unique about Andreas Kron’s win?
Andreas Kron’s win was particularly emotional as he chose to dedicate it to his late teammate, Tijl De Decker, instead of his late mother, as he had initially planned.
How have the initial stages of the Vuelta a España been overall?
The opening stages have been tumultuous, marked by unpredictable weather conditions and various incidents, setting the tone for what promises to be an intense and unpredictable race.
More about Vuelta a España
- Official Vuelta a España Website
- Andreas Kron’s Profile on ProCyclingStats
- EF Education-Easy Post Team News
- Remembrance Article for Tijl De Decker
- Vuelta a España Weather Forecast
- Historical Data on Vuelta a España General Classification
- Interview with Andreas Kron Post-Win
- Update on Remco Evenepoel’s Race Status
- Overview of Cycling Accidents in Professional Races
- General Guide to Understanding Cycling Stage Races