Vuelta a España (st. 1)
Movistar Team takes the most desired victory in the opening team time trial of the 2012 Vuelta a España in Pamplona, the home city of a squad that keeps making history
The best possible story one could ever imagine became reality as Movistar Team starred an unforgettable film in the team time trial that opened the 2012 Vuelta a España. Into the streets of Pamplona, the headquarters of a team that does not miss a single edition of the race since 1980, the riders directed by Eusebio Unzué wrote one of the most emotive pages in the long, winning trajectory of the Spanish structure. Movistar Team took the victory in the 16km course including the famous route of the San Fermín bull run, ending at a coped ‘Plaza de Toros’ elated with the victory by their home team.
Second at the intermediate point, just two seconds behind Sky, the effort by Rojas, Lastras and Erviti -dropped at the second part of the route- and the final push from Cobo, Intxausti, Quintana, Valverde, Moreno and Jonathan Castroviejo gave the Basque rider the first red jersey with a 10-second margin over Rabobank, Omega and BMC and 12 seconds over this year’s Tour-winning squad, to crown an unforgettable day in a city devoted to the spectacle of cycling. Movistar Team conquers this way their Grand Tour sweep and complete six consecutive three-week stageraces at the front –they are the only team to date to have won stages in all Giro, Tour and Vuelta in 2011 and 2012-, as Unzué’s structure claims their 51st stage success in the Spanish race, the first one into a team time trial.
Eusebio Unzué: “I’m tremendously happy. Firstly, because it was a victory against very big squads that showed to be pretty balanced to each other. Today we talked about a crucial factor: mental focus, feeling confident, concentrated on such an effort a discipline like team timetrialling obliges you. Everyone was riding on full steam for 19 minutes with incredible suffering. The guys were able to cope with it into an evening of terrible heat. I was fortunate to witness many important victories, but on an emotive point of view, this victory is above almost all of them. I couldn’t imagine what we would feel after winning here. It was a big excitement to fulfil a debt we had with all the fans in Pamplona and everyone coming along to support us. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but the guys were magnificent. It was the best thing that could happen to us in this Vuelta. It was our goal, we accomplished it and there wasn’t a better way to start the race.”
Jonathan Castroviejo: “In principle, I wasn’t planning to come to this year’s Vuelta a España, and that’s why I came here with the motivation of helping the squad and giving an extra in this time trial. I’m really happy. It’s a very important stage win, notching it up here at home was a goal for us. We had prepared really well for this TT, we knew the route well and were focused since the very start, and it all turned out perfectly. We didn’t have neither a predefined tactic nor a talk on who should have crossed the line first. It was a TT to ride on full steam from the start and that final kilometer on cobbles that made it really hard for us. This win is for everyone that supported me to reach this point and also for Movistar Team, for all the help they gave me this season.”
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