Mara Roldan seizes Volta a Portugal lead with stage 2 victory as Campos climbs to fourth overall

Mara Roldan of Cynisca Cycling claimed victory in the second stage of the Volta a Portugal Feminina today, taking the overall lead in the process. The Canadian cyclist crossed the finish line solo after a late attack, clocking a time of 3:22:24 for the 119.9km route from Mealhada to Sever do Vouga.

Roldan launched her decisive move within the final kilometre, securing a ten-second gap over Britain’s Francesca Hall and fourteen seconds ahead of her teammate, American Ashley Frye. This victory marks the 20-year-old’s first professional win outside of the national championships. “It was a fantastic job by the whole team,” Roldan said, according to the Federação Portuguesa de Ciclismo. “I come from Canada, so the heat is tough for me. However, I have been training for this and our hard work has paid off. We came here with a winning mentality. Yesterday [Wednesday], we learned some lessons, but today we improved, and we aim to keep the yellow jersey until the end.”

The stage saw Portuguese rider Daniela Campos of Eneicat-CMTeam finishing fourth, 17 seconds behind Roldan. This result moved Campos up to fourth in the general classification, now 27 seconds off the lead. Reflecting on the day, Campos commented, “Today’s stage was probably the toughest we’ll face in this race, with many attempts to attack Arkéa’s positions, which made the race very hard. The final climb was done at a very demanding pace, with Cynisca controlling the front. Not being a pure climber, I gave it my all and I think I did well, thanks to the team’s effort. We’re in a strong position to continue competing in this Volta.”

The race started at a brisk pace with a group of 16 riders breaking away around the 8km mark, only to be reeled back in 8km later. The first half of the race was marked by a high tempo, thinning out the peloton. With 56km to go, Michaela Drummond of Arkéa-B&B Hotels secured maximum points at the intermediate sprint in Sangalhos, repeating the feat 18km later in Águeda. Shortly after, India’s Grangier attacked, gaining a 20-second advantage before being caught by Arkéa-B&B Hotels 30km from the finish.

As the race approached the final climb, the pace intensified further, shedding more riders from the peloton. The climb to Sever do Vouga, with its 3.9km stretch at 5.6%, saw the group split, with Roldan making her decisive move. Hall and Frye completed the podium for the stage, while Océane Mahé of Arkéa-B&B Hotels finished seventh, 23 seconds behind.

Tomorrow’s third stage covers 121.9km from Anadia to Pombal, featuring a third-category climb just 5km from the finish.

2024 Volta a Portugal Feminina Stage 2 result

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