Three crashes, three strong rides
28 April 2011

A complicated hairpin to left took all expectations from Movistar Team down in the opening stage of the 51st Vuelta a Asturias. The seven riders from the telephone squad were pushing on front of the peloton before starting the decisive climb to San Martín de Huerces, 15k from the finish, when Andrey Amador, Carlos Oyarzun and Javier iriarte fell over the kerb.

The latter two only had minor bruises, but Amador had to be moved to a medical center in Gijón in order to explore his left shoulder, where the feared collarbone fracture was confirmed as the Costa Rican will be missing out for the Giro d’Italia, his name making the 9-man roster from Movistar Team in the Corsa Rosa, starting next week. The incident took the squad led by José Luis Jaimerena into a mess, with local Luis Pasamontes being the only able to make the final cut, a situation which the Movistar Team rider held to until the finishing line, where he claimed 6th place into the 25-rider peloton on front selectioned by the final climb, whose main gaps will be done in the second sector -an 83km ride from Gijón to Avilés will be completed in the morning- on Friday, a 14km individual time trial in Piedras Blancas, where actual Blue rider Beñat Intxausti took the win last year.

It was indeed the Basque rider who took in leading role today at the Tour de Romandie, Intxausti jumping into the 7th spot overall after the second stage on Swiss turf, a hard trek including the final slopes to the finish in Romont, where the riders from Movistar Team made another interesting performance. Portuguese Rui Costa fought until the very last meters for the victory after attacking with three others riders in the final 4 kilometers. The group was reached with less than 200m from the finish by the first group of favourites, where Cunego (LAM) took the victory by outsprinting Evans, Vinokourov and the Movistar Team trio: Costa (4th), David López (5th) and Intxausti, 6th, showing again a splendid overall level as the squad climbs into the top place in the overall classification. Russian Brutt is still leading the GC after getting dropped -same happened with Samoilau, who lost more than six minutes- by under a minute over the main names, with Intxausti, David López and Rui Costa –despite his crash in the prologue, losing half a minute- still taking positions before Saturday’s decisive 20km ITT ride, three stages still to be covered.