Just minutes ahead of the start of the Corsa Rosa, the Andalusian rewards Movistar Team with their 11th win of the season after brilliant teamwork
PICTURES | Vuelta a Madrid gallery
There couldn’t be a better start to Movistar Team’s participation in the 96th Giro d’Italia. Just minutes before the first stage of the Corsa Rosa in Naples, Javi Moreno has brought another big joy to the telephone squad by winning atop the Puerto de La Morcuera in the 27th Vuelta a Madrid. The Andalusian rider beat Landa (EUS), Fernández (OFM) and team-mate Rubén Plaza at the 1,800-meter high climb to achieve the 11th victory this season by Eusebio Unzué’s squad, keeping the same accounts of the previous two years before the Giro -10 victories in 2011, 12 in 2012-.
The Madrilian race was marked by a long, seven-man breakaway including Ángel Madrazo, which was reeled back in before the start of the final climb. Movistar Team, which still had Szmyd, Plaza, Moreno and Jesús Herrada into the 20-rider group alive at the first slopes, made their superiority count with a strong attack by Plaza with 4k from the finish. Javi Moreno would end up countering Plaza’s attempt to leave Delio Fernández and Landa behind in the final meters. It’s Moreno’s first success of the season -his 5th in eight years as pro rider, after the ones notched up in this very race (’07) and Asturias (’11) and the overall classifications in Asturias (also in ’11) and Castilla y León (2012)-, the year having kicked off in great style for the Spaniard, with his 2nd place overall in the Tour Down Under.
REACTION / Javi Moreno: “The strategy was trying to work as less as possible during the day, trying to make the breaks and going with Szmyd, Plaza or myself at the final climb. It went perfectly, because Madrazo was into the escape and we only had to push in the finale. Caja Rural put a strong tempo into the La Morcuera climb and broke things up; then, Rubén attacked and splitted everything into pieces. I countered his move with 3k to go and only Delio Fernández could follow me. Just before the last kilometer, Landa came to out wheel, and even though I saw myself being a little bit stronger than them, it wasn’t enough to go solo. That’s why I chose to stay with them until the end – it proved the right thing. I needed this victory because, even though I was doing well, things didn’t go really perfect or as I wanted them to be. I always saw this team work like a clock when I was part of smaller squads, and it’s a pleasure to make part of it. But not only when they work for me: also when we’re committed to help another team-mate.”