After a disastrous Saturday with the crashes by Mauricio Soler and Rubén Plaza -who will be operated in the coming hours in Alicante to fix his tibia and fibula fracture-, Movistar Team had quite a calm day on Sunday on the two competitions raced by the telephone squad.
The final stage of the 31st Vuelta a Murcia, a 12-kilometer individual time trial, saw a fine performance by Belarusian Vasil Kiryienka, whose good time trial (5th) allowed him jumping into the final overall classification’s top-ten, won by Alberto Contador (SBS) after his second victory today. Local Fran Pérez also did well for Movistar Team with his 8th place in the GC. Two riders within the best ten of the race -should yesterday’s incident not happen, the list could have been longer- for a squad who leaves Murcian soil with a bitter taste after the crash from two of their top riders, who will be out of order for several months -in Plaza’s case- or at least a few days (Soler).
Meanwhile, on French soil, the 69th edition of prestigious Paris-Nice started off with a 154km circuit in Houdan marked by nervous tempo and constant wind changes, which caused the bunch getting cut several times in the second part of the race. Movistar Team showed their great interest on playing a main role and was always keeping the pace high on front, with almost all the team chasing within the top places and assuming complete responsibility on the race. Only the crash by David López, with no physical consequences, with 15km remaining and, above all, disgrace by a puncture from the squad’s main hope for the sprint, José Joaquín Rojas, just three kilometers from the end, clouded the team’s performance. The same ingredients of today will be seen during the 2nd stage, a 200km trek from Montfort-l’Amaury to Amilly.