News | Volta Valenciana February 6, 2020

Pogačar takes stage and GC lead in Vuelta Valenciana

Young Slovenian starts with a bang with uphill sprint win in Cullera

Tadej Pogačar got his 2020 campaign off to the perfect start with victory on stage 2 of the Vuelta Valenciana (2.1).


With the last 2km uphill at an average of 8% the race was designed for the punchy climbers and it was Jan Polanc who made the first big move with 700m to go. This attack would set things up perfectly for his compatriot Pogačar waiting behind before sweeping passed former world champion Alejandro Valverde in the closing metres to claim his maiden victory of the year.


Pogačar now moves into the overall race lead heading into stage 3 from Orihuela to Torrevieja (174.6km) which should be a day for the sprinters.


Pogačar : “On paper I knew that today was a good finish for me but I didn’t expect the win. I wasn’t sure of my form after such a long time without racing so I surprised myself today. My teammates were key and they did a perfect job between them all and especially Jan’s attack at the end really set up the win perfectly. Tomorrow looks like a day for Kristoff with a bunch sprint so we’ll try for him, but also we’ll work hard now to try keep the leaders jersey until the end.”


Neil Stephens (DS) : “ We put Ravasi on the front to work early in the stage, unfortunately Joe Dombrowski had a bit of a crash so wasn’t able to join to help him in the final but thankfully Joe is okay.
The guys in the final did a great job between Kristoff and De la Cruz putting Tadej into position in the final and then Polanc put in a really hard attack which really strung out the group. Tadej was fantastic, he played it really cool. When you have a former world champion like Valverde attacking off the front it’s hard to keep your cool like he did and he certainly pulled it off. A great talent and it’s looking good for the start of the season for us.”


Stage 2 Results
Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) 4h14’26’’
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) +0’’
Dylan Theuns (Bahrain-McLaren) +0’’


General Classification after Stage 2
Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) 8h22’09’

Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott) +0’’
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) +0’’