“It’s an enormous pride to be part of this team. All my teammates rode only for me today. I’m happy because we’re in the fight for the race, but I’d have liked to win for them, because they gave their best.” The voice of Xavi Tondo expresses his deep gratitude towards his Movistar Team companions, the main responsible for a teamwork exhibition that nearly ended up as the first victory of the group led by José Luis Jaimerena on Argentinean turf.
Tondo finished in 4th place –just behind new race leader José Serpa (Androni), Eros Capecchi (Liquigas) and Chilean Marco Arriagada- in the first mountain-top finish of the Tour de San Luis, the second stage over 156 kilometers from koslay to the cat-1 Mirador del Potrero climb. A long, 20-rider breakway featuring blue rider Carlos Oyarzun made Movistar Team take strong duties for most of the course. “They let us in most charge of the pacemaking and the team relied 100% on me,” Tondo explained. “We got to abort the escape, and during the climb, Soler -9th at the finish-set a strong rhythm to split the group so I could attack with one kilometer to go. Serpa and Capecchi took my wheel, and in spite of my attempts to drop them, I couldn’t went further.”
The Catalan rider from Movistar Team is now in third place overall, just ten seconds from the race’s leadership, with four road stages in the way to the finish –mountains on the programme for both Friday and Sunday- and a crucial time trial on Thursday.“The time trial will suit me if I have a good day, and I think it’s going to be more decisive than the mountains, but you have to race day by day, because we’ve already seen what wind can make to the final result on Monday”. Tondo and Movistar Team get both bigger and bigger every day in Argentina.