Volta a Catalunya stage 2 Time Trial:

Rohan Dennis produced a superb ride to claim victory in the stage two time trial at Volta a Catalunya, the Australian’s first victory since taking the TT world title in Yorkshire in 2019

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Volta a Catalunya stage 2 Time Trial:

The second day of racing at the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya saw the peloton faced with a testing 18 kilometre long time trial, starting and finishing in Banyoles. The parcours had a mix of everything with some climbs, fast straight roads and some technical sections; making it a challenging day out.

Rohan Dennis

Rohan Dennis produced a superb ride to claim a five-second victory in the stage two time trial at Volta a Catalunya. The Australian’s first victory for the team was also his first since taking the TT world title in Yorkshire in 2019. Success on roads local to his home, and with family and friends cheering him on, made it all the more special for Dennis. One of the earlier starters down the ramp, Dennis set a benchmark five seconds up on rival Remi Cavagna (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), and was able to occupy the hot seat for the rest of the stage.

Rohan Dennis: “I’m relieved! It’s been a long time between drinks if I’m completely honest. It’s been a tough little road but it’s really great to be back on that top step. It’s amazing – the team have always supported and believed in the fact that I can be back on that top step. It’s just amazing to be back here.

“It means a lot. It’s my first victory with the INEOS Grenadiers and my first victory since Yorkshire Worlds. It’s been a pretty tough sort of year and a half of seconds, thirds or even being out of the top 10 sometimes. It’s something I’ve been trying to work on every day. It’s not getting any easier with all these young guys, so I’m making the most of this win at Volta a Catalunya. I train on these roads a lot and there are a lot of friends down here to cheer me on. It’s great to do it in front of them.

“For me I’m just the donkey if I’m honest with you. I’m the one that helps out, and it’s amazing that we’ve got the cards to play with the two Richies, G and Yatesy as well. It’s not going to get any easier from here – we’ve got Vallter 2000. Yesterday was the “flat” stage and you saw how that was with Movistar when they lit it up. It’s good that we’ve got options.”

João Almeida (race leader) “I wasn’t expecting this before the stage, but I felt good today and did my best in this time trial. Coming into the race I knew that the time trial was one of my weapons and I could gain some time thanks to it, and it’s great so see I’ve done that. I want to do a good general classification, but we’ll take it day by day and see what the big climbs will bring”, said Almeida, who has in his possession also the best young rider jersey.

Simon Yates (BikeExchange) “It was ok, I felt quite good and paced it well and I think I have made another step forward since Tirreno, the time trial there. So, things are looking good and I am looking forward to the climbing stages to come. I did the best I could, so it is what it is in that regards to the overall and we’ll see how things go in the next days go as we head to the mountains.”

Stefan De Bod (Astana): “I felt good and thought it was a good course. It was a little bit difficult to feel confident in the pacing because you always feel like you want to do more. And then you want to keep doing more until the end so then you are pushing this pace the whole course. I train on these roads all the time and I know the area really well. So that was definitely an advantage and it was nice to race here. UAE Tour was my first time trial with the team and that was a top ten result so I am happy to do another top ten result today. In general, it was good and there are a few things I can work on in the future. I look forward to developing my time trial ability and we see if I can do a really good time trial at the next races”

Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana): “Well, I was really close to a stage win yesterday, so today I was motivated to try to get the lead in the General Classification. I knew it would not be easy as there are many strong TT specialists in the peloton here in Volta a Catalunya. But at least I was motivated to do my best and to see how far I can go today. I felt quite good and I think that I did a good time trial, giving maximum in every point of the distance. It was not enough to take the jersey, but in general I can be happy with my performance. We will see now how the race will turn out in the next days, I hope to see more chances to get something important here”

Brandon McNulty: “Today was another good TT for me, I’m happy with how it went. To get this result in a World Tour TT is always a good sign. The next few days will be the real test of the legs, so I’m looking forward to that. I live pretty close so I know the roads around this region pretty well which is a bonus. “

Steven Kruijswijk: “It surprises me that I ended up fifth. After a tough edition of Paris-Nice I felt I had to get used to it here. I didn’t expect to finish in the top of the day’s results today. Today’s performance gives me a lot of confidence towards the coming days. I think everyone in the team rode a strong time trial today. I’m happy to see that the team is riding very well across the board.”

Chad Haga: “It felt good to test myself in a TT on a local course, but I was hoping for a much better result today,” explained Haga at the finish. “I only started my season yesterday, though, so I still have a lot of room for improvement for future days and races.”

Wilco Kelderman: “I think it was a good TT, being the first one of the season, in a new team, with a new bike, and a new setup. I think I can be satisfied, the feeling was good and I’m happy with it. I’m not so sure about the next stages, it’s always hard to get back from an injury. My legs were good in training bur racing is something different, so we’ll take it day by day.”

Lennard Kämna: “It was a hard TT. I am happy with my performance, but it is still a little bit off the optimal level and there is some work ahead of me on the TT bike. Nevertheless, my position before the mountains is good and we’ll see how my legs turn out tomorrow.”

Wednesday, the peloton of the Volta a Catalunya will face the first of two big mountain stages of the 100th edition: Stage 3 will bring the riders from the Olympic Channel of Catalonia to the top of the famous Vallter 2000 climb.

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