Dauphiné (final report) / Suisse (st. 1)
Movistar wins teams' classification in Critérium du Dauphiné, losts individual GC podium with Intxausti to Costa (LAM), Beñat ending in 4th place. Anacona leads Blues in first demanding stage in Switzerland
There was left a bittersweet taste for the Movistar Team at the end of the 2015 Critérium du Dauphiné, which Chris Froome (SKY) conquered with a second, consecutive stage win in Modane Valfrejus. Despite taking five riders within the top 25 in the overall classification and comfortably winning the teams' ranking in the process, the squad directed by José Luis Arrieta and José Luis Laguía was held off on the doors of the stage wins -one third place, two 4th spots- and, above all, the final podium, with Beñat Intxausti struggling into a stage where he had to defend a 25-second margin over fourth-placed Rui Costa (LAM).
Gorka Izagirre's presence into the break for the second day on a row and two moves -one climbing, the other downhill- by a courageous Alejandro Valverde into the penultimate ascent of Saint-André contrasted with Intxausti's lack of the strength that he had found in the days prior, dropping back with 4.5km to go. The Basque rider still fought bravely and was able to limit losses, crossing the finish only 44" behind Froome, 26" after Costa -who got an additional four seconds as third over the line-.
Beñat ends his effort in 4th spot, 1'21" behind the winner and only 5" away from third, while Valverde -who strengthens his lead in the 2015 UCI WorldTour, in front of absent pursuers Alberto Contador (TCS) and Richie Porte (SKY)- took ninth, 3'12" back. The Movistar Team keeps fighting into the world ranking and is now less than 100 points away from the leaders (784, with SKY at 872), yet still in the same fourth place they had before Dauphiné.
The day's most negative note came as José Herrada had to abandon the race early, fortunately with no big physical consequences. The Spaniard suffered a crash into the feed zone together with Manuel Quinziato (BMC) and suffered a blow to his hip that advised to withdraw, though the Mota del Cuervo-based rider didn't have any serious injuries.
Suiza: Fine performance by Anacona in first demanding stage
The most satisfying surprise in the day for the Movistar Team came on stage one of the Tour de Suisse, dramatically harder than expected as only nine riders came together into Rotkreuz's finish after the two ascents of Cat-1 Michelskreuz (4km at 9%). Despite not being able to get into the group including late attacker and stage winner Kristijan Durasek (LAM), Winner Anacona showed courage and completed a nice climb to cross the line into a second group for 13th place, 14" down.
With Ion Izagirre, Eros Capecchi and José Joaquín Rojas behind into a third peloton, just over 1' back, the 'Boyacense', 12th overall at 21" from Tom Dumoulin (TGA), looks like the most consistent chance for the José Luis Jaimerena-led group -which started the day with one rider down as Javi Moreno was DNS after his crash into the prologue-. Things will be again open for change on Monday, with stage two in the Ticino (Quinto-Olivone, just 117km) covering the Gothard (HC), Leontica (Cat-2) and Aquila (Cat-3.)