It’s early Spring, which means bike races in obscure European towns with miserable weather. This week it’s a five stage race around Murcia, Spain, and the weather has actually been fairly nice. The Tour of Murcia takes place on the Mediterranean coast of southeastern Spain. Of course there are spoilers in this post.
Today’s second stage saw Robbie Hunter of Garmin just edging ahead of Team Rabobank’s Graeme Brown for his second win of the race as he retains his GC lead and yellow jersey.
Robbie seems a little bit stiff on the podium in the photo below, as the gal in the gray suit admires his bouquet.
Lance Armstrong of Radio Shack is the top American at Murcia so far, taking 35th place in Stage 2 and holding 32nd in the GC. Other Americans in Spain this week: Danny Pate (Garmin-Transitions), Peter Stetina (Garmin-Transitions), David Zabriskie (Garmin-Transitions), and Jason McCartney (Radioshack).
The U.S. Columbia-HTC Team, which is composed entirely of European cyclists, is ranked third in team rankings.
There are no Italians in this Spanish race, because organizers banned Italians from participating after local hero Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d’Epargne) was banned from riding in Italy. Valverde, who comes from Murcia, isn’t riding because some silliness between organizers and Valverde’s team Caisse d’Epargne. As the world turns.
For complete coverage, visit Steephill.TV’s Vuelta a Murcia dashboard page.
Elsewhere and related:
- Biking Bis: Armstrong rides again at Murcia, Hunter wins stage
- Daily Peloton: Vuelta a Murcia Stage 2 updates by an Italian named “Fabio” in spite of the Italian ban.
- Cycling News: Tour a Murcia preview.
- Examiner: Lance Armstrong returns to racing at Tour of Murcia.