Valverde Wins Second Straight Stage at 2010 Tour of the Basque Country
Rabobank's Freire nabs second place in two-man sprint.
Spain's Alejandro Valverde, handed the 2010 Tour of the Basque Country opening stage win on Monday following Oscar Freire's relegation, rubbed salt into his compatriot's wounds by beating him into second on Tuesday.
In a tough uphill sprint battle at Viana on Stage 2 of the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco 2010, Valverde overpowered Freire in the final meters to retain the overall lead.
Valverde was declared the winner of the opening stage on Monday following Freire's relegation to second from first place for blocking his rival in the bunch sprint.
The Caisse d'Epargne rider said he was glad to have beaten Rabobank's Freire into second with none of the controversy of Monday's stage.
"Today it was a clear win, even if it was difficult, and there wasn't any kind of trouble," the 2010 Tour of Spain champion told reporters.
"I accelerated hard quite early because it was a tough little climb and Oscar was right on my heels. But I won well."
"After everything that happened yesterday, I was keen to cross the finish line at the head of the pack."
Following Tuesday's 217-kilometer marathon stage which saw riders in the saddle for close to six hours, Valverde remains in the lead for a second straight day, tied on time with Freire. Canada's Ryder Hesjedal is third, one second back.
The Tour of the Basque Country finishes on Saturday with an individual time trial in Orio.