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Soler wins 2nd Vuelta stage, Roglic keeps overall lead

LEKUNBERRI, Spain (AP) — Marc Soler made a strong move on the final descent to pull away from the pack and held on to comfortably win the second stage of the Spanish Vuelta on Wednesday, with defending champion Primoz Roglic finishing second to keep the overall leader's jersey.

Soler was able to ride alone toward the finish line at the end of the 151-kilometer (94-mile) ride from Pamplona to Lekunberri, finishing 19 seconds ahead of Roglic to secure his first Grand Tour stage victory.

“We made the move to the front and everything worked out perfectly,” said Soler, whose team Movistar is based in the area of Pamplona. “We were motivated to race at home, we knew the terrain well.” Soler moved to 10th place overall, more than a minute off the lead.

Roglic, the team Jumbo-Visma rider who won the first stage on Tuesday, has a nine-second lead over Daniel Martin and an 11-second gap to Richard Carapaz in the overall standings. Martin and Carapaz finished in the peloton with Roglic on Wednesday. Alejandro Valverde was fifth.

“A nice result,” Roglic said. “The team again did a good job (to) keep me in the right position. In the end Soler went away. He deserved to win.” Two-time champion Chris Froome again finished way back in the pack and was already out of contention, more than half an hour behind.

The Vuelta is taking place amid tight health restrictions as Spain recently endured a surge in coronavirus cases. Riders will face a 166-kilometer (103-miles) third stage on Thursday.

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