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Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta 2021 – Annemiek van Vleuten wins Stage 2, fires warning to Marlen Reusser

Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta 2021 - Annemiek van Vleuten wins Stage 2, fires warning to Marlen Reusser

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Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) catapulted herself into overall contention at the Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta by winning the Stage 2 time trial – and then fired a warning to GC leader Marlen Reusser (Ale BTC Ljubljana).

The Dutchwoman clocked 19:08 on the 7.3km course to move third in the general classification, 1:39 down on Reusser. Pauliena Rooijakkers (Liv Racing) is second overall, 1:36 back.

Reusser finished second in 19:27 – having also finished runner-up to Van Vleuten in the TT at Tokyo 2020 – on a course that was short but challenging, with the riders facing a near-constant incline up the Manzaneda mountain.

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The Swiss ace grabbed the red jersey with a fine solo victory on Stage 1, made even more impressive when she revealed she thought the race started a day later.

However, Van Vleuten has not given up hope of catching her and piled on the pressure ahead of Saturday’s lumpy trip to Pereiro de Aguiar.

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‘I’m an attacker’ – Van Vleuten talks up Ceratizit Challenge comeback

“It’s really difficult if you give Marlen Reusser, who’s in really good form, two minutes,” said Van Vleuten.

“On the other hand, I’m super excited for tomorrow because I don’t like defensive-style racing.

“I also struggle with stage races because I have to defend. In my heart I’m not a defender, I’m an attacker. I’m more a one-day racer and don’t like to race conservative.

“Tomorrow I have nothing to lose and everything to win. We’re not going to give it as a present to Marlen Reusser and I hope we can put on a good show for the people watching it.

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It has the ingredients tomorrow to make it really hard for Marlen to take the win.

Now in its seventh edition, the Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta has expanded out of Madrid to a four-stage event in 2021.

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You can watch Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta live and ad-free on the Eurosport app and Eurosport.co.uk. Download the Eurosport app for iOS and Android now.

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