Purely incidental, but fully representative of the team work developed, the team victory by Movistar Team in the 3rd stage of the Tour Down Under underlines the great global performance from the group led by DS José Luis Arrieta on Australian soil. The Spanish squad caught the attention from start to finish on Thursday, as a rolling 129km route was ridden today in the way to Stirling. Right from the opening flag, Luis Pasamontes started a 4-rider breakaway thar kept him on the front of the race for more than hundred kilometers.
Behind them, and on full heat conditions -the thermometer keeping constantly over 35ºC-, Ángel Madrazo ruled the peloton for thirty kilometers as the pacer of the group containing his two leaders, José Joaquín Rojas and Fran Ventoso. The stage would end up in a mass sprint, where Ventoso confirmed his great fitness with the day’s 6th place, jumping into the 7th slot overall as Rojas and Iván Gutiérrez also kept their chances for another day. In turn, the negative sidenote came from Chente García Acosta; it seemed really like a miracle as multiple crashes up to date did not affect the Movistar Team riders, but the veteran Spaniard could not avoid a fall 25k from the finish. Fortunately, only minor bruises in his gluteus and elbow will not compromise Garcia Acosta’s appearance at the start on Friday.
TOUR DOWN UNDER. Stage 3, Unley-Stirling. 129 km
1. Matthews (Rabobank) 3.11.47; 2. Greipel (Omega) s.t.; 3. Goss (Highroad) s.t.; …6. Ventoso (MOV) s.t.; 14. Rojas (Movistar Team) s.t.; 22. I. Gutiérrez (MOV) s.t.; 25. D. López (MOV) 0.07; 77. Madrazo (MOV) 1.20; 87. Pasamontes (MOV) 3.11; 129. Gª Acosta (MOV) 12.29.
GC: 1. Goss (Highroad) 9.56.25; 2. Greipel (Omega) 0.02; 3. McEwen (RadioShack) 0.04; …7. Ventoso (MOV) 0.10; 19. I. Gutiérrez (MOV) s.t.; 22. Rojas (MOV) s.t.; 38. D. López (MOV) 0.21; 71. Madrazo (MOV) 1.34; 78. Pasamontes (MOV) 3.24; 129. Gª Acosta (MOV) 14.44.