Almeida Takes Volta Catalunya lead as Dennis takes Time Trial Victory
Two-time former world champion Rohan Dennis powered to victory for Ineos in a challenging 18.5km individual time trial on stage two of the Volta Catalunya on Tuesday
Australian Dennis completed the course in 22 minutes and 27 seconds, while his teammates and title contenders Richie Porte and Adam Yates also posted solid performances. Remi Cavagna of France was second the emerging Portuguese star Joao Almeida came third and took the overall lead in the seven day race. Almeida of Deceuninck Quick-Step wore the Giro d’Italia’s pink jersey for 15 days in a stunning breakout last year, and this performance comes as no surprise.
The win was a first for Dennis since joining Ineos in 2020, although his work in the Giro helped the British team win the title with Tao Geoghegan Hart.
"Relieved," was Rohan Dennis's overwhelming emotion. "It's been a long time between drinks. If I'm completely honest with you, it's been a tough little road but it's really great to be back on the top step. It's amazing - the team has always supported me and and believed that I can be back on that top step. It's just amazing to be back. It means a lot," he adds.
"It's my first victory with Ineos Grenadiers and my first victory since Yorkshire Worlds. Look, it's been a pretty tough year and a half of second or third places, or even out of the top 10 sometimes. It's not been easy with all these young guys, so I'm making most of this win. I train on these roads a lot and I had a lot of friends out there to cheer me on, so it's great to do it in front of them."
Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome finished almost three minutes off the pace as his struggle for top form continues in his new Israel Start Up Nation colors.
One of the top paid riders in the world Froome also lost eight minutes on the first stage.
Stage 3 tomorrow, is a mountain top finish to Vallter 2000 and marks a stage that is hardening as the kilometers advance. From the start in the Canal Olímpic de Catalunya, the race takes direction towards the Pyrenees, with small mountainous difficulties along the way that can invite attempts with the intention of taking advantage before the 11.1 km of ascent to Vallter 2000.
VIDEO: 2021 Volta a Catalunya Stage 2 Highlights
2021 Volta a Catalunya Stage 2 Top 10
1 Rohan Dennis (Aus) Ineos Grenadiers 0:22:27
2 Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:00:05
3 João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:00:28
4 Brandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:28
5 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma 0:00:33
6 Richie Porte (Aus) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:34
7 Adam Yates (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:35
8 Josef Cerny (Cze) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:00:38
9 Stefan De Bod (RSA) Astana-Premier Tech 0:00:38
10 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:47
2021 Volta a Catalunya GC after Stage 2
1 João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-QuickStep 4:43:26
2 Brandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates
3 Luis Leon Sanchez 0:00:03
4 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma 0:00:05
5 Richie Porte (Aus) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:06
6 Adam Yates (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:07
7 Stefan De Bod (RSA) Astana-Premier Tech 0:00:10
8 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:19
9 Fausto Masnada (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:00:20
10 Lennard Kämna (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:21