Though this year’s edition lacks the top ranking sprinters of other grand tours, the 160.8km trip from Ourense Capital Termal to Baiona should bring the small pack of fast finishers to the fore on day two. The majority of the day is flat, but the Category 3 Alto de Fontefria shall look to break up the day’s riding somewhat; even though the gradient struggles to exceed 5% for the majority. The decisive kilometres to the line are populated by roundabouts and other tricky road furniture, after which the sprinters shall have more than a kilometre to the line to truly put the power down and contest the win. Contenders:
Niccolo Bonifazio is a stand out contender for stage honours on the second day, as the Italian seeks to increase his tally of major career wins in 2016. As ever, his team Trek-Segafredo have assembled a team which shall not struggle to meet the demands of leading Bonifazio out and shall be confident of securing at least a podium spot on Stage 2.
Kristian Sbaragli is an extremely talented finisher, one who could challenge for the win today and subsequently begin his campaign upon the points jersey. An attritional race would improve his hopes of winning here, but it remains a big test as to whether or not he can beat rivals typically faster than him so early on in the race.
Nikias Arndt should be poised to capitalise on this type of opportunity and demonstrate the level he can perform at when given the chance to lead the team’s sprinting hopes. He appears to be fresh heading into the race and has a strong support team for the leadout who will be encouraged to ride aggressively during the final kilometres into the finish,
Beyond those mentioned above, there are an array of teams who shall all seek to secure a victory early on at this year’s edition of La Vuelta a España. Tosh van der Sande, Gianni Meersman and Jose Joaquin Rojas all have the potential to steal the win here, making them dangerous riders who will need watching by the bigger name sprinters’ teams.
1st Niccolo Bonifazio 2nd Tosh van der Sande 3rd Nikias Arndt