Movistar Team riders performed well in the opening individual time trial of the 57th Vuelta a Andalucía – Ruta del Sol, which made honour to its name with a clear, warm ride on Sunday. The riders directed by José Luis Jaimerena made a nice effort on a stage not suited for them, with four in blue making it into the day’s best 25.
It was a specially good day for Spaniard Luis Pasamontes, who jumped into 7th slot against some world-level specialists, and also for climber Beñat Intxausti, a short step behind the top-10 with his 11th place. Sprinter Fran Ventoso and 20-year-old youngster Jesús Herrada kept into a 20-second margin off Frenchman Jimmy Engoulvent’s pace, the Saur rider claiming the leadership. All riders from Movistar Team had to do their best into the final slope of the time trial, with curves up 12% gradient which took them to squeeze the 25-teeth crankset of the Spanish squad’s Pinarello bikes. The second stage, scheduled for Monday, will also be a demanding one with 161 kilometers from Almuñecar to Adra; Andalusia’s first road stage will feature two Cat. 1 climbs and has the Alto de Berja (Cat. 3) just 30 kilometers from the finishing line.