País Vasco (s5) - Sarthe (s4)
The two main references of Movistar Team take 4th and 9th at the finish in Oñati, after a day toughened by rain where Blues looked for the win relentlessly
Movistar Team did not stop trying in the fifth stage of the Vuelta al País Vasco on Friday, the 183-kilometer mid-mountain route from Bera and Oñati seeing the rain becoming a key factor. The squad led by José Luis Jaimerena and José Luis Arrieta worked non-stop for their second stage victory in this year’s Basque tour, firstly with the breakaway by David López -the virtual leader of the race for almost one hour of the stage, making part of a sixteen-rider escape that seemed like the winning move -five minutes of advantage at km 96-, but surprisingly went down after a strong pace by Sky in just 30k of pursuit.
David Arroyo came next into a nine-rider group that with another group of nine riders sticking ahead until the last climb of the day, Asentzio (Cat. 2), where Robert Kiserlovski (AST) took the lead solo until the final 3k into the slopes near Oñati, where he was reached by the best two riders in the GC, Joaquim Rodríguez (KAT) and Samuel Sánchez (EUS). Despite his efforts, Vasil Kiryienka could not reach the trio and had to stay content with a 4th spot, just five seconds behind Rodríguez, stage winner and yellow jersey. Rui Costa, 9th, also made the second group and is now 16th in the overall classification, with Kiryienka in 13th, before tomorrow’s decisive ITT, 19 kilometers around Oñati that will decide the 52nd edition of the race.
Ventoso 7th at La Sarthe GC
In turn, and after his great victory yesterday, Fran Ventoso could not improve his provisinoal 6th place in the GC of the 60th Circuit de la Sarthe during the closing stage, with 166 kilometers drom Abbaye de l’Épau and Sablé. Despite the Spaniard taking two bonus seconds in the first of three intermediate sprints of the day, a strong headache produced by the flu he’s suffering from several days ago even put his finish today into jeopardy. Eventually, Belgian Jan Bakelants (RNT) and Dutchman Thomas Dekker (GRM) make their bonus seconds and stage win count to overtake Ventoso in the tie at the 5th place overall, leaving the Cantabrian in 7th spot. Three other movistar riders -Rubén Plaza (10th), Karpets –brilliant today into the break, also made by Castroviejo earlier in the stage- and Jesús Herrada, finished in the overall top 16. Movistar Team finished the squads’ final overall tied with RadioShack.