Vuelta a Murcia
Ion Izagirre (11th) and Benat Intxausti (12th) into favourites' group at Lorca castle following great Movistar teamwork, still unable to contain unstoppable Taaramäe (AST)
The work by the whole Movistar Team for most of the 35th Vuelta a Murcia did not find the prize it did in previous occasions. Ion Izagirre and Beñat Intxausti had to stay content with 11th and 12th into the favourites' group which reached the Fortaleza del Sol (Lorca), ending point of the 198km course in southern Spain, just 10" away -from more than 2' he had with 10km to go- from Estonian Rein Taaramäe (AST), winner after a big solo from the Collado Bermejo climb.
“He might not have been within the range of pre-race favourites, but Taaramäe proved to be really strong today," commented Intxausti just after the finish. “It was a demanding route, and a strong field of competitors this year – the pace was really fast from the start and that took its toll in the final slopes. Rein jumped away in the key moment, when everyone was on their limits. He showed strength on his move, went really apart and kept the gap and pace really high after the descent. Despite many teams doing all they could, including ourselves, in the finale, he made an exhibition; it was impossible to chase him down."
Rubén Fernández, one of the most known local riders on today's startlists, struggled a bit more. "The whole team worked all day long," explained on the labour by Soler, Herrada or an attentive Antón and Moreno, already from the initial splits. “However, I couldn't be up there to contest the win. We might have thought we could get a chance to catch Taaramäe on the descent, but he was simply one step away today. We were chasing ourselves, together with Cofidis, Katusha, a late impulse by Etixx… but there was no way to turn things around.”