Circuit de la Sarthe (day 3)
Italian losts La Sarthe GC lead by only 3" to countryman Manuele Boaro (TCS), winner in Pré-in-Pail; noble fight by national TT champ from Movistar Team after Blues' impressive work all the way to Avaloirs' circuit
Not being categorized as a respected climber, Adriano Malori still put everything from his side on the table to defend the yellow jersey in the Queen stage of the Circuit de la Sarthe, over 190km including five laps over the steep Montée des Avaloirs in Pré-en-Pail, and was extremely close to completing the feat.
While Alex Dowsett, Rory Sutherland and Enrique Sanz pushed over the flat prior to the final loops to keep the day's five-rider breakaway within considerable gaps, John Gadret and Jesús Herrada -who also stood a chance to contest the GC, sitting in 8th, yet devoted all his energy for the Italian's success- saved everything they had to contest a dangerous counter-attack including Tiago Machado (KAT), sixth overall before the day's racing.
Their work paid off, yet the bunch split into two at the decisive climb, with Malori remaining some precious seconds behind. Manuele Boaro's (TCS, 7th) victory granted a 10-second bonus putting him on top of the standings, while Adriano, only 13" back across the line, is now in second place, three behind his countryman with one day to go. Three intermediate sprints still up for grabs, two into Le Lude's closing circuit on Friday, mean the race remains wide open for the final stage (178km.)
Foto ©: Bernard Larvol / Circuit de la Sarthe