Ruta del Sol S2: Miguel Ángel López bounces back from spill

Colombian rider crashed late in stage 2 but bounced back to finish second and keep his GC hopes alive at the Ruta del Sol.

Photo: Bas Czerwinski/Getty Images

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ALCALA LA REAL, Spain (VN) — Miguel Ángel López (Astana-Qazaqstan) bounced back from a late-stage spill in stage 2 to keep alive his title defense at the Ruta del Sol.

The Colombian crossed the line with a bloody knee and finished second behind stage-winner and new leader Alessandro Covi (UAE Emirates).

“Well, it was a good try and I am happy with the legs I had today,” López said. “I missed just a little to catch Alessandro Covi in the final. Also, I lost some energy earlier in the stage, chasing the peloton after my crash.”

Team officials confirmed to VeloNews that López was caught up in the big pileup inside the lead bunch as the peloton ramped up its speed to reel in the day’s breakaway.

Doctors checked over the Colombian star, and early reports suggest there is no serious injury and no stitches are required, officials confirmed.

López crossed the line a few seconds behind Covi, who uncorked a searing attack just ahead of the steepest part of a short but steep uphill finale finishing across a cobblestoned road.

Covi, who won the Vuelta a Murcia last weekend in a similar late-race attack, takes over the race lead.

“In the last kilometer I followed the move of [Wout] Poels and when I saw him slowing up a bit I saw my moment to strike,” Covid said. “I suffered a lot in the last few meters, but I’m so happy to be able to take this win for the team, and repay their hard work. I’m in a good bit of form at the moment.

“I worked hard over the winter and managed to lose a bit of weight and I’m just making the most of the good legs I have at the moment and enjoying my cycling,” Covi said. “I have the yellow jersey now which is exciting, and I know it will be hard to defend but I’m just going to keep trying hard and take it day by day.”

López slots into third at eight seconds back. Ander Okamika (Burgos-BH), who was third in Wednesday’s opener, slots into second at five seconds back.

The Ruta continues Friday with the 153.2km third stage from Lucena to Otura.

The profile features four rated climbs in the first part of the stage, setting up another tug-of-war between the breakaway riders and the GC teams.

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