Firm, offensive tactics from Movistar Team on Vuelta a Burgos stage three clash again with supremacy from uphill sprinters. Quintana faces Neila 17 seconds adrift of Roux (FDJ)
Movistar Team’s big chance in the 35th Vuelta a Burgos will have to wait one more day. The squad directed on Castilian soil by José Luis Arrieta fought relentlessly for victory on stage three, the longest of the race with 175km full of ups and downs from Villadiego, featuring six rated climbs including the double passage through the Ojo Guareña (Cat-3). The telephone squad took control of the pace in the first run through the finish, chasing down and neutralising the escape from Jani Brajkovic (AST) and Amets Txurruka (CJR), the two last survivors of an original 4-man attempt which was fought, but not made to, by Giovanni Visconti.
Movistar Team opted for an offensive strategy and put three of their riders -Jesús Herrada, Sylwester Szmyd and Rubén Plaza- into a split of eleven riders neutralized with 6k remaining, with Plaza fighting on until the foot of the ascent. The approach saw a small, five-man group going away due to win, with increasing chances for Nairo Quintana, but the eventual junction and the softness of the climb avoided the Colombian contesting the victory. The Blues’ leader is now 17 seconds behind leader Anthony Roux (FDJ), the margin he’ll have to make up Sunday atop the Lagunas de Neila, should he cover Saturday’s stage four to Santo Domingo de Silos with no problems.