Luís León Sánchez (Rabobank) barreled to victory with an impressive ride in Saturday’s second stage at the Vuelta a Castilla y León in northern Spain.
The four-climb stage in the hills south of Ávila proved more than difficult enough to bust up the peloton. An 11-man breakaway formed over the day’s main obstacle to all but end the GC contest for everyone missing the move.
León Sánchez kicked to victory along the rampants of the medieval walled city at Ávila to win for the second time this season and claim the overall leader’s jersey.
Crossing the line second was Guillaume Levarlet (Saur-Sojasun) with Pablo Urtasun (Euskaltel-Euskadi) coming through third.
León Sánchez and eight others from the attacking group of 11 took more than two minutes on the lead chase group as the peloton fractured coming over the day’s final hurdle at the Cat. 2 Paramera climb with 19 kilometers to go.
With time bonuses, León Sánchez will be working to defend a six-second lead to Levarlet in Sunday’s final stage, with Urtasun slotting into third at eight seconds adrift.
Sunday’s four-climb finale features the Cat. 1 Alto de Navacerrada about 50km from the finish in Segovia.