Ain (3rd) / Eneco (4th)
Pardilla claims 7th on stage three of Tour de l’Ain, gets into 23-man strong group to contest the overall in the mountain stages on Friday and Saturday
It was a major change at the overall classification of the 24th Tour de l’Ain as a rolling stage three -154 kilometers and three categorized climbs towards Montréal-la-Cluse- saw a 23-man breakaway, including Sergio Pardilla as Movistar Team representative, taking a massive gap of twenty-two minutes over a bunch where seventeen of nineteen competing squads put a rider to secure their overall position.
Pardilla got to respond well into the attacks and briefly led the race in the third and final climb of Ceyssiat (Cat. 3), the Spaniard later chased down by a nine-man group from where Dani Navarro (STB) jumped to claim a solo victory. Pardilla, 7th at the finish, is now 29 seconds behind the race lead before an interesting mountain duo starting on Friday, with the finish atop Septmoncel (Cat. 1) after 156km and the passages through La Crochère (Cat. 2) and Longchaumois (Cat. 1).
Technical finish ruins Blue chances at Eneco Tour
In turn, the 2012 Eneco Tour covered with no incidents its fourth day of racing, 213 kilometers between Heers and Bergen op Zoom, with Belgian road champion Tom Boonen (OPQ) seizing the white leader’s jersey thanks to bonus seconds. Fran Ventoso and José Joaquín Rojas suffered from continuous fight for position in a final phase full of turns, which avoided the Murcian claiming a top-ten place in the race’s consecutive sprint finish, won by Marcel Kittel (ARG). Friday will bring more pancake flat, with 183km to be covered from Hoogerheide to Aalter.