Stage 2 of the 2023 Vuelta Femenina saw pre-stage favourite Charlotte Kool take victory over sprint rival Marianne Vos. The pair of favourites were nearly humbugged by a late attack from Chloe Dygert. The American was hoping to win the stage or secure enough bonus seconds to take the leader’s jersey but unfortunately remains 1″ behind a Jumbo-VIsma rider. After Anna Henderson led yesterday, Marianne Vos secured the race leader and became the 2nd women’s rider to wear all of the modern major leader’s jerseys – the Tour, Giro and Vuelta.
A flat first half of the stage saw 4 riders go clear – Coralia Demay, Catalina Soto Campos, Yurani Blanco Calbert and Andrea Casagranda. The quartet were given a decent amount of time but was never truly left to go up the road and many minutes. With a QoM point available and a jersey, the latter part had enough interest for teams to keep the gap down.
A short section saw teams trying to set up an echelon as the wind off the coast hit just right. The peloton split in two but came back together reasonably quickly once the road turned. The breakaway had split in the meantime, with Soto Campos and Casagrande claimed by the peloton first and Demay and Blanco Calbert caught some time afterwards. Going through Torremedo the peloton crashed approaching a tight corner, a kerb that stuck out into the road potentially being the cause. Silvia Persico was the worst affected GC rider, sporting a patch of missing skin as the Italian needed to chase onto the back of the peloton.
The next action was at the intermediate sprint where Canyon SRAM was particularly interested after starting the day just 1″ off the race lead. Femke Markus of SD Worx took the 6 bonus seconds ahead of her sister Riejanne Markus and Chloe Dygert. The 4 seconds earned by the second Markus was enough to give her the virtual leader with Chloe Dygert now 3″ back on the virtual GC.
Canyon SRAM was also very active on the climb up to the QoM point, going 1-2 in attacks with Elise Chabbey and Kasia Newiadoma. It split up the bunch but all the favourites stayed in the front group. Only near the summit did Jade Wiel push on, with Alba Teruel keeping the pressure on. The French rider claimed the points and the jersey though.
And so to the final sprint, the lead-out trains seemed reluctant to go and Chloe Dygert took the initiative with an attack. For a second no-one responded before teams realised the danger of letting a rider capable of sustained power go without a challenge. Marianne Vos managed to make the junction to her and came past before looking over her right shoulder. However, Charlotte Kool was using that moment to come over her left side to win by a bike length. It became Kool’s first win in a major tour and Vos’ first leader’s jersey in her first Vuelta Femenina/Ceratizit Challenge.
“I am really excited! This is my first big win at a Grand Tour, so I am really happy to do it like this at the first sprint opportunity. It was a really hectic final and we knew that upfront. I was almost boxed in but luckily I found the right wheel. It was a really long sprint as Canyon launched it early, so it was a hard one, but I am really happy I could finish off the girls hard work today. Now we are looking forward to the next opportunity tomorrow.”Charlotte Kool
“You always want to win, so it’s not satisfying to finish second. It was a technical final with many twists and turns. The team kept me out of trouble and positioned me well at the front. I was on Anna’s wheel when Chloe surprised us all. She did it very strongly. I tried to hold on until the end, but unfortunately, Charlotte overtook me. It’s nice that we managed to keep the jersey, but that wasn’t the main goal. Tomorrow we will fight again for the stage win.”Marianne Vos
2023 Vuelta Femenina Stage 2 result
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Main photo credit: Tornanti.cc