It was a day of full heat in what’s usually a cold, rainy Vuelta al País Vasco on Wednesday. The Basque tour’s third day of racing -Villatuerta-Zuia, 180km- was marked by high temperatures and speed, factors causing the day’s ride -arguably the easiest on the paper- becoming another hard trek before tomorrow’s Queen stage atop the Santuario de Arrate.
Movistar Team was attentive for another day on the road to defend the good places in the GC by their four main riders –Tondo, Intxausti, Kiryienka and David López- in the difficult finale, where Vinokourov (AST) took advantage of disorganization to jump solo and claim the day’s honours. Movistar Team’s leaders had no problems to make the 20-rider front group at the last slope, 5k from the finish, and were part of the bigger peloton that took the final descent into the line. The most awaited stage on Basque soil, with its finish in the Arrate climb, will include seven categorized ascents, the final one -Usartza (Cat. 1) just 2k from the line.