Costa (12th), Valverde (17th) and superb Castroviejo enter contest for bronze medal at the London Olympics' road race, just behind Vinokourov (gold) and Urán (silver)
Wearing the jerseys of their respective national squads, the nine Movistar Team riders in the first race of the 2012 London Olympic Games were on the move for the 250km of the British course, starting and finishing at The Mall after covering a circuit with nine passages through The Mall where the telephone squad fought all their way to the medals. Within the four Blue riders in the Spanish national team, the major protagonism was for Jonathan Castroviejo as he made part of the initial, 11-man breakaway that was later caught by more than a dozen riders at the final ascent, with fellow countryman Luis León Sánchez also bringing with him two of his team-mates: Alejandro Valverde and Rui Costa.
The bunch, with Andrey Amador unsuccessfully trying to bridge and still containing two sprint chances with José Joaquín Rojas and Fran Ventoso -the Cantabrian suffered a crash with no major consequences before entering the circuit-, struggled to keep the gap under a minute after a splendid load of work from Castroviejo at the head of the breakaway. Eventually, an attack from Vinokourov (KAZ, gold) and Urán (COL, silver) made the Basque suffer and drop as he finished just eight second behind, together with Costa (12th) and Valverde (17th) and thirty seconds over a bunch where Ventoso, Amador and Rojas made some of the top places into the sprint.
Castroviejo will be back on the road during the Olympic ITT (Wednesday, 15.15 CET) accompanied by Belarusian Vasil Kiryienka, who also competed today with compatriot Branislau Samoilau and Ecuador’s Byron Guamá (Movistar Team Continental).