Route du Sud (st. 3)
Italian takes superb final ride to fruition in Route du Sud’s closer; claims his 3rd win of the season, Movistar Team’s 19th. 2nd place overall for Valverde
Picture (c): Maxime Lafage – La Route du Sud
The 2014 Route du Sud saved another coup of joy for the Movistar Team after Jesús Herrada’s success in the opening stage. An action harder and harder to achieve in modern procycling -an attack close to the finish that ends up with a victory against the sprinters’ squads- saw Adriano Malori raising his arms victorious in Castres, after 179km from Saint-Gaudens with two Cat-3 climbs and lots of small slopes in the day’s parcours.
Malori jumped away with 20km from the finish alongside Brit Josh Edmondson (SKY), searching for solo escapee Yukiya Arashiro (EUC), who had ridden almost all day alongside Movistar Team’s Iván Gutiérrez into the early, eight-man move. With all three together and 45″ ahead of the bunch, FDJ started pushing to bring the group back, with Malori’s response in a huge attack with two kilometers from the finish, which his companions couldn’t resist.
The 15-second gap in that point meant the Italian only had to give everything he had. The attempt was successful: he had time enough to celebrate his third victory in 2014 -after TT wins in San Luis and Tirreno-Adriatico- and the 19th for the Movistar Team since the start of the season. Behind, Alejandro Valverde secured his overall podium, -2nd, alongside Tinkoff’s Nicolas Roche (1st) and Michael Rogers (3rd)- in a Route du Sud whose worst news for the Blues came in the abandon after crash -with no major injuries- by Sylwester Szmyd today.
REACTION | Adriano Malori: “I’m so happy because this is the very first time I win a road race as a pro cyclist – all my previous wins were time trials or GC’s. I was convinced I could make it, but I’m not really fast and in modern cycling, that makes your chances shrink a lot. Right from the strategy meeting early in the morning, we’ve talked about about taking all chances that we could – we had nothing to lose and today could be the right day to give it a try. We took Iván into the early break and when it was caught, I attacked with Edmondson and we both caught Arashiro, the one still left into the break. The pace was fast all day, and the teams with sprinters were really worn down in the finale.
“I was feeling like the strongest of three and when I saw it was the right time, attacked with just over 2k to go and could make it solo. I dedicate this victory to my team, for all confidence they gave me in all races, and also to myself, because I took almost no rest after the Giro and took a lot of care about myself, thinking about the national time trial championships. This win makes me really confident for the race, one of my biggest goals of the season. Afterwards, I’ll stop for a while before thinking about my calendar for the second part of the season.”