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Ruta del Sol stage 2: Alessandro Covi wins on uphill cobbled finale

UAE Team Emirates rider wrestles overall race lead with well-timed, late attack.

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Alessandro Covi (UAE team Emirates) launched a late, but well-timed attack to take the stage 2 win of the 2022 Ruta del Sol.

Miguel Ángel López (Astana Qazaqstan) reacted to the winning move, but was unable to bring Covi back in the last half kilometer on a narrow, twisty, cobbled climb.

Also read: Ruta del Sol S2 – Miguel Ángel López bounces back from spill

Iván Sosa (Movistar Team) rolled through in third, after struggling on the initial steep pitch of the finale, but kept Jack Haig (Bahrain-Victorious) behind him at the line.

“In the last kilometer, I followed the move of Poels and when I saw him slowing up a bit I saw my moment to strike. I suffered a lot in the last few meters but I’m so happy to be able to take this win for the team, and repay their hard work,” Covi said.

The 150.6-kilometer lumpy stage featured five categorized climbs —  one category 2 and four category 3 ascents — with the final few hundred meters on a pavé ascent.

Five men were off the front and got as much as a four-minute advantage. After the maximum of 15 minutes gap the break had on the previous stage, the peloton never allowed too much leash to Kami Malecki (Lotto-Soudal), Gotzon Martín (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Raul García (Equipo Kern Pharma), Diego Sevilla (Eolo Kometa), and Jon Barrenetxea (Caja Rural Seguros).

This bunch had a gap of two minutes shaved in half from 40km remaining to 30km to go.

A small pileup occurred with 27km remaining, and “Superman” López appeared to be one of the riders caught up in the tangle at a road intersection with some gravel strewn across it.

While Barrenetxea looked to be the strongest in the bunch, and several times attacked the break on the penultimate climb, he was the last to be scooped up on the pace set by AG2R-Citroen, Bahrain-Victorious, and Ineos Grenadiers.

The yellow leader’s jersey of Rune Herregodts (Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise) trailed the main group, and by the time the big bunch had taken the descent of the second-to-last climb and was positioning for the final climb, he had all but sat up.

The Bahraini squad tried to control the front but was no match for the combined number of Movistar Team, Ineos Grenadiers, and UAE Team Emirates.

Wout Poels (Bahrain-Victorious) launched a long-range move inside of the final kilometer but was brought back right at the start of the final pitch to the finish.

Covi’s counter-attack was matched by López, while Sosa nearly took down the front dozen riders when he tried to respond as the asphalt changed to cobbles.

Covi reflected on the stage, and his current GC lead.

“I have the yellow jersey now which is exciting, and I know it will be hard to defend but I’m just going to keep trying hard and take it day by day,” he said.

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2022 Ruta del Sol Stage 2 Results

  1. Alessandro Covi (UAE Team Emirates), 3:57:46
  2. Miguel Ángel López (Astana Qazaqstan), at :03
  3. Iván Sosa (Movistar Team), at :04
  4. Jack Haig (Bahrain-Victorious), at s.t.
  5. Steff Cras (Lotto Soudal), at :05
  6. Carlos Rodriguez (Ineos Grenadiers), at s.t.
  7. Dries Devenyns (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), at s.t.
  8. Domenico Pozzovivo (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux), at s.t.
  9. Simon Clarke (Israel-Premier Tech), at s.t.
  10. Cristian Rodriguez (TotalEnergies), at s.t.

2022 Ruta del Sol General Classification

  1. Alessandro Covi (UAE Team Emirates), 9:15:01
  2. Ander Okamika (Burgos-BH), at :05
  3. Iván Sosa (Movistar Team), at :10