After more than one hour with the best time of the evening, Iván Gutiérrez had to stick to the 2nd place after a last-minute move avoided him winning the individual time trial (B sector) that closed the second stage of the 51st Vuelta a Asturias.
The 4-time Spanish individual time trial champion, who dreamt for 75 long minutes to break his losing streak against the clock -his last victory came in 2008 at the prologue of the Eneco Tour-, eventually had to surrender to the strength by the race leader, Germany’s Stefan Schumacher (MIE), who beat the Movistar Team rider as the last man over the line by only four seconds, in a great performance from all lads directed by José Luis Jaimerena. Apart from the second place by Guti, the telephone squad was able to put five of their six riders into the best 25 of the day, with a special remark being granted by the group’s GC hope, local rider Luis Pasamontes, who now sits in 4th overall before the two mountain-top finishes in this long weekend. The first of those, before the traditional Subida al Naranco on Monday, will be the race’s queen stage, over 195 kilometers of demanding routes including four categorized climbs before reaching Cangas del Narcea -the town where Pasamontes was born-, where the bunch will start off with the feared HC Alto del Acebo.
Konovalovas leads break in Romandie
In turn, Movistar Team’s block on Swiss turf is still taking protagonism in the 65th Tour de Romandie, the UCI World Tour race holding its fourth stage on Friday. After the notable rides by Intxausti -still in 7th place in the GC-, David López and Rui Costa in the mountains and Samoilau’s great effort in the opening road stage, it was turn today for Ignatas Konovalovas. The Lithuanian made the head of the race for almost all stage thanks to an early move that could only be aborted by the pack in the last 10k. Russian Pavel Brutt (KAT) keeps the yellow jersey before the decisive 20k individual time trial on Saturday, where the Movistar Team GC leaders will be competing for top places in the Helvetic tour, finishing on Sunday.