No troubles on leadership defense
19 August 2012

Vuelta a España (st. 2)

Jonathan Castroviejo and Movistar Team keep the Vuelta's leader jersey at the first road stage before Monday's summit finish in Arrate

Movistar Team are still keeping the top six places in the overall classification of the Vuelta a España -with Jonathan Castroviejo in the lead for a second consecutive day- after exhibiting themselves at the front during the entire stage two, the first point-to-point day of the Spanish grandtour over 181k between Pamplona and Viana. Pablo Lastras and Imanol Erviti -with Javi Moreno also taking turns in the finale- held the responsibility into the Blue row to control the gaps by the escape of Aramendia (CJR), Chacón (ACG) and Ignatiev (KAT), an attempt reeled back with just over 10k from the finish that left room for the sprinters’ work in search for an ascending finish ruled by Germany’s John Degenkolb (ARG). With no troubles to keep both the individual and teams’ leadership, the telephone squad will be tackling a first big test tomorrow atop the Santuario de Arrate, after 155km starting at Oyón and including three Cat. 2 and 3 climbs.

QUOTES Jonathan Castroviejo: “It was quite a comfortable stage due to the head winds all over the stage. We were a bit worried about the tension on the final loop because wind could change and blow harder as well as any possible crashes, but fortunately we went perfectly over the day and kept the jersey, so we can stay happy. The team was A-plus. It’s a pleasure to work with people like this. There’s an important day ahead for the squad tomorrow in arrate. Even though it’s not a long climb and I know it well, we must be realistic and the strong riders for the overall must be up-front, so we hope that a team-mate stays in the lead. It’s a typical finish from the Vuelta al País Vasco, a short, yet hard climb where we’ll see who can win this year’s Vuelta.”

Turbulent finish for Ventoso in Hamburg
In turn, Spanish road champion Fran Ventoso could not show off his strength at the finish of the Vattenfall Cyclassics, the only German UCI World Tour event of the season ridden on Sunday over a 243km course in Hamburg with four climbs of the infamous Waseberg (700m / 10%). The Cantabrian was making part of a 60-man field that reached the attackers from the last ascent and contested the position into the bunch while his team-mate Iván Gutiérrez, back into competition after the brutal crash forcing him to abandon the Tour de France, tried his way solo with no success with 4k from the finish. However, a pile-up at the finishing straight slowed Ventoso down -without making him crash- in his struggle for a victory that went to Frenchman Arnaud Démare (FDJ).

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