Basque climber jumps into provisional overall podium in Asturias -with David López in 6th and Javi Moreno in 8th- after another deluge effort at Piedras Blancas's ITT, only beaten by Ion Izagirre (EUS)
The same place where he took his maiden win as a pro rider, the 14-kilometer individual time trial in Piedras Blancas that put an end to a long day two in the 56th Vuelta a Asturias, almost saw Beñat Intxausti coming victorious again. The Basque rider came in 2nd place under hard rain hitting the Principality for a second consecutive day, just behind Ion Izagirre (EUS) and before all main GC contenders, with blue jersey holder Alejandro Marque (CAR) now only 23 seconds above the Spanish climber as Intxausti took half the distance the Galician gained with his winning move during the opening stage to Gijón.
The solidness of the telephone squad came to the spotlight through all phases of the time trial. One of the first riders to depart, Iván Gutiérrez, was 6th, six seconds faster than team-mate Ignatas Konovalovas (9th) and only sixteen over the big winner of this morning, youngster Jesús Herrada, whose enormous effort allowed him ranking into the best twenty of the day following his brave effort to victory in Avilés. David López also went strong in a not-so-good speciality for him to clock the 13th best time.
With three riders still able to contest the overall -Intxausti (3rd), David López (6th) and Javi Moreno (8th), all of them within one minute of the race lead- and the lead in the teams’ classification, the Blues will tackle the Queen stage on Sunday in the best of moral. 167 kilometers from Lugones to the Cat. 1 Alto del Naranco, with no less than eight categorized climbs through the Asturian mountains, are still left.
Photo (c): Rafa Carbonero / lavueltaasturias.com