CALPE, Spain — Nairo Quintana made a late charge to win the second stage of the Spanish Vuelta on Sunday, with Nicolas Roche finishing second and taking the overall lead.
Quintana broke free with about 3 kilometers to go in the hilly stage of nearly 200 kilometers (124 miles) from Benidorm to Calpe on the southeastern coast of Spain.
The veteran Colombian rider from Movistar Team held onto a five-second victory over the group that included Roche of Team Sunweb and Day 1 leader Miguel Angel Lopez of Astana Pro Team.
“I needed this and so did the team,” said the 29-year-old Quintana, the 2016 Vuelta winner. “We did a great job and when that happens the results come along.”
Roche will carry a two-second lead over Quintana going into Monday’s third stage – a 188-kilometer (117-mile) ride through a mostly flat route from Ibi to Alicante. Rigoberto Uran of team Education First was third overall, eight seconds off the lead.
The three-week Vuelta is without many top names this year, including defending champion Simon Yates, Tour de France winner Egan Bernal and Giro d’Italia winner Richard Carapaz.