A decisive mountain-top finish
21 February 2012

Vuelta a Andalucia (st. 1)

The arrival to the Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Araceli (Cat. 1) seems decisive for the final outcome of the Ruta del Sol. Ramírez Abeja (AND) holds on to breakaway victory

The finish atop the Santuario Virgen de Araceli (Cat. 1) looks like the decisive point for the overall classification in the 58th Vuelta a Andalucía. The Ruta del Sol will tackle its Queen stage tomorrow, with 144 kilometers starting in Malaga city and climbing the hard slopes -18% gradient in the final part- near Lucena, where Movistar Team will search for the second win of the season they’ve seeked for with so much intensity without a fruit in all competitions during the last month.

The telephone squad had a calm ride on Monday during the first road stage of the Andalusian event, 197k from Zahara de los Atunes to Benalmádena, marked from the start by the escape by Will Routley (SPI), Javier Ramírez Abeja (ACG), Luis Ángel Maté (COF) and Dani Domínguez (NSP). The leading quartet, which earned a massive 12-minute gap, seemed like chased down by the peloton when the gap was merely a handful of seconds with two kilometers to go, but the final ride through the narrow streets and the last effort by the escapees allowed Ramírez Abeja making a late rush to the finish in front of the peloton, including all Movistar Team riders, with Konovalovas as the sacrificed worker on front to reduce the gap by a break which threatened to close down the race.