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Tom Gloag helped colour the finale of the second stage of the Tour of Valencia. The youngster, racing his first stage race in the yellow and black of Team Jumbo-Visma, attacked at the front of the race in the final kilometres. Gloag finished ninth, in the same time as the day's winner, Giulio Ciccone.
The second stage was a real challenge. It was up and down all day in the east of Spain, with no less than seven climbs. Five riders managed to get away. The situation for the escapees was never promising, although two held out for a long time.
After a number of teams had pushed the peloton hard at the top of the Alto de Pinos, UAE Team Emirates' Brandon McNulty attacked. The American created a gap, which was closed by Gloag moments later. The 21-year-old British rider accelerated up the ascent to move to the head of the race. In the final kilometre, a group of riders returned to the two at the front.
"All in all, it was a great day”, said Gloag about the second stage of the Spanish stage race. "The course was challenging, and the guys did a great job keeping me out of the wind. I thank them for that. I wanted to see how far I could go with the big guys today. I felt strong enough to close the gap to McNulty. Unfortunately, I couldn't win, but I was close. This is another significant step in my learning process. It might sound cliché, but I take it day by day. It is all about improving myself. In the coming days, I will do my best to repay the team's confidence with an excellent final result. We'll see how it ends.
"It is all about improving myself"
Sports director Frans Maassen agreed with his rider. "An excellent performance by Tom. On this hectic day, the team protected him well and in the final, we were among the better riders with a number of men. It appeared for a moment Tom could have produced an even better outcome, but what he demonstrated today makes us really happy for the near future. Tomorrow should be a tactical race. There could be a group of breakaway riders fighting for the day's victory, but not everyone will be able to get away. We'll wait and see what the upcoming days hold for our team.”