LottoNL-Jumbo’s Primoz Roglic placed third in the rainy second stage of the Volta a Valenciana today in Denia. Tony Martin (Katusha) took the stage win after 180 kilometres and Greg van Avermaet donned the leader’s jersey.
“It was hard and cold today,” Roglic said. “I was much better than yesterday, that’s why I tried it. Steven and I went full-gas on the climb and tried to escape. When I was in the front and Tony Martin went, I couldn’t follow. He went too fast.
“I feel well again. And despite my bad day yesterday, I never stopped believing.”
Three men broke free after one hour of racing. They gained more than five minutes. During the first climb of the Alto de Montigo, the leading group fell apart and the attackers were caught not much later.
Roglic attacked with Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Tony Martin on the last time over the Alto de Montigo. On the wet descent, Martin escaped and arrived solo. Behind him Pim Ligthart (Roompot) sprinted for second place and Primoz Roglic third.
A slippery day
The weather dampened Sport Director Nico Verhoeven’s spirits.
"We actually expected it, but hoped that it would stay dry,” said Verhoeven. “When it rains, it’s very slippery.
“We saw a number of crashes on the road. Stef Clement was involved in a big crash but fortunately, did not suffer badly."
Kruijswijk had bad luck the last two days, but Roglic bounced back nicely after being dropped by the team in the opening time trial.
"Yesterday in the team time trial, we already lost some time, but today Kruijswijk lost time again. He was one of the first on top of the climb, but as a rider crashed in front of him, he fell too. Because of this, he lost connection with the first peloton.
"Primoz Roglic got his level back fortunately. Yesterday, he had a bad day when he was supposed to act as one of the engines in the team time trial. Today, he had a good one and joined up with the best.”