Meersman retains yellow jersey after second stage of the 2013 Volta a CatalunyaWednesday, March 20 2013 by SNTV
Gianni Meersman beat Danielle Ratto in a sprint finish to claim his second successive stage win of the 2013 Volta a Catalunya in Spain on Tuesday
Tuesday's second stage of the 2013 Volta a Catalunya saw Frenchman Christophe Laborie, Canada's Christian Meier and Olivier Kaisen of Belgium grouped together to form the day's main breakaway, but never led the peloton by much more than three minutes.
Their time at the head of the field came to an end at the end of the second lap, as the main group of riders came back together with 20 kilometres to go.
Gianni Meersman timed his effort to perfection, surging to the front in the final 200 metres as several riders crashed in his wake.
The Belgian crossed the line ahead of Daniele Ratto of Italy and Australia's Brett Lancaster, in second and third place respectively, winning his second successive stage in three hours, 48 minutes and nine seconds.
While Meersman celebrated, those unseated in the crash - including stage one runner-up Valerio Agnoli of Italy - tended their wounds and pushed their bikes over the line.
Heading into Wednesday's third stage Meersman sits 16 seconds clear of Spain's Alejandro Valverde at the top of the overall standings.
Meersman retains yellow jersey after second stage of the 2013 Volta a CatalunyaWednesday, March 20 2013