Belgian rider Gianni Meersman retained the overall lead in the Tour of Catalonia after making it two stages wins in as many days on Tuesday. The 27-year-old beat home Italian Daniele Ratto and Brett Lancaster of Australia in a sprint finish to the 160.7km ride from Girona to Banyuls.
Meersman sits atop the overall standings, 16sec ahead of Spain's Alejandro Valverde with Swiss Danilo Wyss a further four second adrift. Meersman benefited from a crash on the final bend which saw several contenders for the stage win come to grief or being hindered so badly they had no chance of recovering.
On Wednesday the overall favourites for the title such as Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins should come to the fore as the riders face their first tough challenge with the 180km ride climaxing at the ski station of Vallter 2000.
Tour of Catalonia Stage 2
1. Gianni Meersman (BEL/OPQ) 3:48:09
2. Daniele Ratto (ITA/CAN) @s.t.
3. Brett Lancaster (AUS/GRE) s.t.
4. Samuel Dumoulin (FRA/AG2R) s.t.
5. Robert Wagner (GER/BLA) s.t.
6. Julian Simon (FRA/Sojasun) s.t.
7. Maurits Lammertink (NED/VAC) s.t.
8. Laurent Pichon (FRA/FDJ) s.t.
9. Danilo Wyss (ESP/BMC) s.t.
10. Manuele Mori (ITA/LAM) s.t.
General Classification After Stage 2
1. Gianni Meersman (BEL/OPQ) 7:43:46
2. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) @ .16
3. Danilo Wyss (SWI/BMC) @ .20
4. Robert Gesink (NED/BLA) @ s.t.
5. Dario Cataldo (ITA/SKY)
6. David Lopez (ESP/SKY)
7. Bradley Wiggins (GBR/SKY)
8. Jose Herrada (ESP/MOV)
9. Daniel Martin (IRL/GRM)
10. Joaquin Rodriguez (ESP/KAT)