Tour de Romandie (final soil)
Movistar boys win Tour de Romandie teams’ overall classification thanks to performance by Intxausti (6th GC), Ion Izagirre (8th, following excellent TT in Neuchâtel for fifth spot) and Jesús Herrada (9th, best young rider overall), pay back confidence on youngsters
There was a sense of accomplished mission for the Movistar Team at the end of the 68th Tour de Romandie, the last WorldTour race before the start of the Giro d’Italia in Belfast, just five days away. The telephone squad became the top team in the French-speaking cantons of Switzerland -their second time in this year’s top-tier racing, after Paris-Nice back in March-, thanks to notable performance from their top three contenders all over the week: Beñat Intxausti, Ion Izagirre y Jesús Herrada.
The Amorebieta-based rider finished the Helvetic race as best Blue finisher -6th, almost two minutes behind race winner Chris Froome (SKY)- after clocking the fifteenth fastest time into a demanding TT (18.5km in and around Neuchâtel, with the climb of Frochaux halfway through the course) where Costa (LAM) grabbed the only podium spot really coming into play today. Just 15″ behind in the overall classification finished Ion, an outstanding fifth position in the afternoon and the fastest of the lads directed by Chente and Laguía; in turn, Herrada won the battle against Pinot (FDJ) for the white, Young riders’ jersey and claimed his first top-ten finish in a WorldTour race as pro (9th, with the Basque in 8th.)
Movistar Team won’t race again until their nine riders for the Giro d’Italia roll off the team time trial’s start ramp. It’s the end of the best season start the squad has achieved since Telefónica took over as title sponsor: 13 victories and 93 top-ten finishes, with Valverde in third place of the WorldTour standings as his team-mates have led the ‘M’ jersey to provisional second.