Vuelta a España stage 2 report: Andreas Kron takes emotional solo victory as GC favourites sit up

Kron paid tribute to Lotto-Dstny teammate Tijl De Decker as he crossed the line.

Andreas Kron (Lotto-Dstny) wins stage 2 of the 2023 Vuelta a España. Photo: © Cor Vos

Kit Nicholson
by Kit Nicholson 27.08.2023 Photography by
Cor Vos
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It was a strange day out in Catalunya as the Vuelta a España peloton embarked on stage 2. More of the same weather that affected the opening TTT plagued the parcours, resulting in a neutralisation of the GC competition 9 km from the finish. After that point, the stage hunters had their chance and it was Andreas Kron who timed his attack perfectly to take an emotional victory, which he dedicated to his Lotto Dstny colleague Tijl De Decker who died this week after a training crash.

While it seemed fairly clear the red jersey was going to change hands, it took a long time for anything to be confirmed – the race organisers apparently even turned to roadside fans to determine the order the riders had crossed the bonus sprint. Eventually, breakaway rider Andrea Piccolo (EF Education-EasyPost) was given the nod, as expected, and the 22-year-old became the second Grand Tour debutant to lead the Vuelta in as many days.

Breakaway riders Andrea Piccolo and Javier Romo, who now top the GC rankings separated by 11 seconds.

How it happened

Brief stage results:

Primož Roglič was one of the many riders to hit the road in the latter half of the stage, and with the weather worsening, Jumbo-Visma – with Remco Evenepoel’s support – asked for a brief truce while their three-time Vuelta winner chased back on with his fellow crashed riders.

Quote of the day:

This is not only Kron’s first win in two years, but it also marks his first Grand Tour stage victory. However, his success carries extra significance for himself and his team Lotto Dstny two days after the passing of Development rider Tijl De Decker.

“I didn’t know Tijl personally, but many guys in the team did, especially Lennert Van Eetvelt. We are still devastated. This is the best way to show that we keep going, for him. We miss him, I would have liked to have known him. We will always fight for him.”

He went on to explain that it comes as a reward of hard work and dedication towards the end of a tough season.

“It was a difficult year for me personally. I had to miss the Tour de France and then I focused on this stage in the first week of the Vuelta. It’s also the team’s first WorldTour win this year, which is really big for us.

“And for us as a group it is also beautiful. We’ve been together for a long time to be in top shape here, and now we’ve already won a stage. Hopefully we will win more, I think we can do that.”

Up next:

This wacky opening week of the Vuelta takes us into the mountains proper on stage 3. The peloton starts from Súria and enters Andorra 107 km into the 158.5-kilometre stage, heading for the first summit finish at the top of the Arinsal (8.2 km at 7.9%), via the first-category Coll d’Ordino. Most of these roads will be familiar to the Vuelta peloton, many of whom live or at the very least have trained in these parts. It’s still early days, but expect the first interrogations of form among the overall favourites, and the red jersey will likely change hands once more.

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