A close second place for Roy as the breakaway prevails on stage two of the Madrid Challenge

Sun 16 Sep 2018

Today's second stage of the Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta saw a large breakaway group hold off the chasing peloton with Australian Sarah Roy sprinting to second place for Mitchelton-SCOTT.

Roy led out the final sprint after a lot of work from teammate Jess Allen to keep the breakaway group ahead, but in the end the 32-year-old had to settle for second place after Giorgia Bronzini (Cylance) edged her out for the stage victory on the line.

After winning the team time trial yesterday, Ellen van Dijk (Team Sunweb) secured the overall race classification win with Roy moving up to finish in eighth place. 

Short and technical lap

The second stage was raced in the centre of Madrid like the previous three editions preluding the final stage of the men's Vuelta a Espana. The modified circuit for 2018 saw the riders set off and take on 17laps of a shorter 5.9km 'hotdog' style lap.

Many attacks occurred throughout the opening laps until a group of five riders finally forced the first move of the day but they weren't given much freedom. Always within the pelotons sights, Wiggle-High5 took on most of the work load behind to slowly reel the group back in.

Main large move

With just over 40km to go, the first breakaway of the day was swallowed up and new large group of 19riders quickly went on the attack and opened up a gap. With many teams represented, including Roy and Allen for Mitchelton-SCOTT, the group was able to rapidly establish over a one-minute advantage.

Options for Mitchelton-SCOTT

After a lot of work in the peloton, the leading group was almost caught with one lap to go, with the gap down to just 15seconds as they started the final 5.9km lap. Mitchelton-SCOTT sat in a good position with Roy in the breakaway and Jolien D'hoore waiting in the peloton if it all came back together. 

Allen worked to reel back any late moves from the breakaway on the final lap to try and set things up for Roy, who led out the sprint in the closing two hundred metres but was just passed on the line by Bronzini in the final race of her career. 

Sarah Roy

"The plan was to sprint for Jolien, we did not expect any breaks to stay away, of course we need to follow wheels and be around for moves like that and Jess, Georgia Williams and I were well positioned for things like this from the start.

"Jess and I sat on the group initially but once it looked pretty good for us, with me being one of the fastest in the group, we got the go ahead for Jess to contribute to the break and she did awesome.


"We came here to win so it’s a little bit of a let down but personally I am extremely happy with the turn around I’ve had today. I rode the perfect race, stayed calm and opened my sprint at the right time but mostly I’m happy with the feelings in my legs. 

"I’ve been a bit under the weather recently and to feel good again on the bike is a massive win for me and also for the team with worlds around the corner. Yesterday I feel I let the team down with a bad day in the team time trial so to be backed by the team the way I was today means a lot to me.

"To be beaten by Giorgia Bronzini in the last race of her amazing career is okay by me, I’m really happy for her, we all respect her so much and wish her well for what’s next."

Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta stage two results:

1. Giorgia Bronzini (Cylance) 2:17
2. Sarah Roy (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST
3. Charlotte Becker (Hitec Products) ST

Final general classification:

1. Ellen van Dijk (Team Sunweb) 2:35:03
2. Coryn Rivera (Team Sunweb) +0:11
3. Audrey Cordon-Ragot (Wiggle-High5) +0:15
8. Sarah Roy (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:41

Photos courtesy of Getty Images