The winning streak by Movistar Team doesn’t stop. After last week’s victory by Kiryienka in País Vasco and yesterday’s success by Fran Ventoso in Palencia, the Spanish sprinter claimed the victory again in the 2nd stage of the Vuelta a Castilla y León, over 213 kilometers finishing in Salamanca, where the rider from Cantabria had already won in 2007.
“I was very doubtful yesterday because I have gone through a difficult period, with some colds and crashes, but I was really confident today,” recognized a satisfied Ventoso after the finish. “The team are waiting me on hand and foot all day, give me all their confidence and that makes things way easier. We controlled at the beginning until we saw the break was having a 5-minute gap and then we pulled off, because otherwise a 200k stage would become a tremendous load of work for us. With 20 kilometers to go we got on front again and the team made another great work. Pablo Lastras left me on the Sky riders’ wheel in the last slope; they hadn’t spent energy and came into the finish with five riders. But in the final ramp, when I saw I was on my sprinting distance, I did not hesitate to jump and I won with much gap. I’ll have to help my teammates battling for the GC as much as possible tomorrow, and I might get another opportunity on Sunday. Still I’d prefer to work in the final stage, if that means we have some rider on the leader’s jersey by then.”
Ventoso’s victory is the year’s eighth by Movistar Team and the fourth in his victory account of the season. The telephone squad is the dominating team in the race up to the moment, with two stage wins, the race’s leadership, the Sprint jersey by Ventoso and the lead in the Combination by Lastras. However, the first key stage for the final outcome will be coming tomorrow. The race’s queen stage will be a 171km trek from Benavente to the mountain-top finish in the Alto de Laguna de los Peces, a Cat. 1 climb.