Spain’s Francisco Ventoso won the second stage of the Tour of Castilla y Leon on Thursday, boosting his position at the top of the overall standings after taking the opening stage. Controversial Spanish rider Alberto Contador finished in 14th place with the same time as Ventoso and remains the hot favorite to take his third straight overall victory in the event, having already won the Tour of Murcia and the Tour of Catalonia this year. Ventoso, of Movistar, was first to the line in a sprint finish, at the end of the 213 km stage from Valladolid to Salamanca. He edged Portugal’s Sergio Ribeiro of Barbot and Britain’s Russell Downing of Team Sky.
Ventoso, who also won Wednesday’s first stage in a sprint finish, leads Downing and Italy’s Manuel Belletti in the overall standings, all with the same time. The stage was marked by a breakaway by five riders after just 10 kilometers. They built up a lead of five minutes, but the peloton, led by Saxo Bank’s Contador and the Euskatel team, reeled them in barely 10 kilometers from the finish.
Friday’s third stage takes the riders 157.2 kilometers from Benavente y Laguna to Peces.