With the moral impulse to dedicate a victory to their teammate Mauricio Soler, still in the ICU of a Swiss hospital, Movistar Team came close to the wins in the two competitions they’re taking part until Sunday, France’s Route du Sud and the Tour de Suisse.
On French soil, the block directed by Yvon Ledanois was protagonist from start to finish in a hard mountain stage ending at Cauterets, plus coing through the legendary climbs of Aspin and Tourmalet. Back into racing after the Giro d’Italia, David Arroyo and Vasil Kiryienka put the Movistar Team jersey on front. The Spaniard took a long break that allowed him gaining the KOM jersey, while the Belarusian, on the move for the final 40k along with Charteau (EUC), had to get content with the 2nd place after touching the victory on the final uphill, where Kiry, suffering from cramps in the final meters, had to battle on a one-on-one sprint with the KOM jersey of the Tour de France, new leader of the Route du Sud. The Eastern powerhouse is now 2nd in the overall, with a minute’s gap over a 15-rider pursuit group where Sergio Pardilla was sitting before the final 2k. Another mountian stage is awaiting tomorrow with two Cat. 1 climbs, Menté and Port de Balès, the last one just 19k from the finish.
Meanwhile, at the Tour de Suisse, the telephone squad had three riders into the 18-rider escape that contested the victory in the race’s Queen stage atop Austrian climb Serfaus. Iván Gutiérrez, Ángel Madrazo and José Joaquín Rojas fought until the very end of the ascent for the honours, which went to Belgian Thomas De Gendt (VAC) as he attacked before the decisive climb to overcome Andy Schleck and a superb Rojas, who keeps showing his best form in a terrain not so suited to his abilities. The Blue squad’s sprinter will have another chance tomorrow in the race’s stage 7, a soft ride with no big difficulties that will preceed Sunday’s ITT showdown in Schaffhausen –also holding tomorrow’s finale- that will decide the final winner of a race still led by Cunego (LAM).