Young Pogacar called the shots on Stage 2 Image Credit: Supplied

Spain: Tadej Pogačar got his 2020 campaign off to the perfect start with victory on stage 2 of the Vuelta Valenciana (2.1).

With the last 2km uphill at an average of 8 per cent the race was designed for the punchy climbers and it was Jan Polanc who made the first big move with 700m to go. This attack would set things up perfectly for his compatriot Pogačar waiting behind before sweeping passed former world champion Alejandro Valverde in the closing metres to claim his maiden victory of the year.

Pogačar now moves into the overall race lead heading into stage 3 from Orihuela to Torrevieja (174.6km) which should be a day for the sprinters.

“On paper I knew that today was a good finish for me but I didn’t expect the win. I wasn’t sure of my form after such a long time without racing so I surprised myself today. My teammates were key and they did a perfect job between them all and especially Jan’s attack at the end really set up the win perfectly. Tomorrow looks like a day for Kristoff with a bunch sprint so we’ll try for him, but also we’ll work hard now to try keep the leaders jersey until the end,” Pogacar said.