Lobato -2nd in Austria-, Rojas -8th into London's Tour finish- fight for stage placings in the day of San Fermín, which Movistar Team celebrated with their traditional scarf
PICTURES | 2014 Tour de France gallery
Both Movistar Team blocks in the Tour de France and the Österreich-Rundfahrt showed good condition in the day of San Fermín, public holiday of the squad’s home Navarra region. The third and last day of the Grande Boucle on Britiish soil -1 flat, 155km stage from Cambridge to London- saw the bunch getting nervous into the urban roads due to rain covering the finale, though weather couldn’t avoid neither the junction with the day’s early break -formed by Barta (TNE) and Bideau (BSE)- nor the mass sprint, with José Joaquín Rojas in 8th spot. Marcel Kittel (GIA) took his second win in as many bunch kicks.
Tension picked up even more during this stage three of the Tour as a crah occurred with 2km to go. The incident, which did not affect any of the riders from the telephone squad, also didn’t hold back Alejandro Valverde, always protected by his team-mates to cross the finish line in The Mall, next to Buckingham Palace, in 33th place. The Spaniard is now 8th overall -2 seconds back on Vincenzo Nibali (AST)- before crossing the English Channel by plane -the race convoy will do the same by ferry and train- en route to stage four on Tuesday: 164km from Le Touquet to Lille.
Lobato back to Alps in 2nd spot
The day’s result was even better on Austrian turf, where Juanjo Lobato repeated his 2nd spot snatched one month ago in one of the sprints of the Tour de Suisse, only beaten for the win by Italian Oscar Gatto (CAN) at Bad Ischl’s finish, after 181km from Waidhofen with no major difficulties. Mountain will surge strong from tomorrow, with another Andalusian, Javi Moreno, set to defend his 3rd place overall -24″ down on Kennaugh (SKY)- over the slopes of the gruelling Kitzbüheler Horn (HC; 7.7km at 12%), the first of three hard stages until Friday, the eve of the decisive ITT in Podersdorf.