The second teams’ overall victory for Movistar Team in this season came on Sunday. After their collective success in the Tour Down Under, opening round of the 2011 UCI WorldTour, the telephone squad proved to be the strongest in the 80th Critérium International, the 2.HC race concluding in Corsica today with a 7km ITT.
The blue squad scored a resounding victory in the teams’ classification, five minutes over the nearest pursuers, and was a step behind conquering the individual classification with Vasil Kiryienka. The rider from Belarus, who claimed 2nd in yesterday’s mountain stage, took seven of the needed 20 seconds to beat yellow jersey holder Frank Schleck (LEO), thus coming 13” off the winning time. David López (9th) also made it to the definitive top-ten, with Pardilla (15th) and Arroyo (24th) completing a great performance. “We knew the time trial was a bit too short to take the gap back,” conceeded Yvon Ledanois, Movistar Team sports director, “but we came into the ITT with that desire. He’s not a real timetriallist, but we’re talking about Schleck, one of the best cyclists in the world. At the intermediate point they were clocking the same time, and after that, despite Vasil taking some time on him until the end, we knew it was going to be impossible. It would have been different in a 15km time trial, but you have to say that the GC was lost yesterday in the final two kilometers. With some less time behind Schleck, we could have battled for victory, but Kiryienka did his best. In any case, the overview must be excellent. We had four riders on front yesterday, we won the teams’ overall, came 2nd and 9th individually… that’s something to be happy.”
Crash by Ventoso ruins chances in Belgium
In turn, misfortune took off possibilities by Movistar Team to shine in the 73rd Gent-Wevelgem, the sixth race of the 2011 UCI WorldTour. The team’s big card to battle for the top positions, Spaniard Fran Ventoso, suffered a crash with 20 kilometers from the end while making part of the big group along with teammates Madrazo, Konovalovas, Lastras and Amador. Despite Konovalovas gave him his bike and Madrazo and Amador helped him to make the front group, the bridge was impossible and only Pablo Lastras could enter the short group contesting the sprint. Tom Boonen (QST) grabbed the honours.