Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana (final report)
Movistar Team claims three top-ten GC placings in Valencia with Ion Izagirre (4th), Javi Moreno (5th) and Jesús Herrada (8th); reasserts – together with Dubai – Eusebio Unzué's squad is full of roster depth for all challenges
The Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana took its curtain down on Sunday after happily coming back from the shadows following an eight-year stop. The 105km stage five around Valencia confirmed Wout Poels' (SKY) overall victory, as Stijn Vandenbergh (EQS) took a surprise solo win in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento (Town Hall Square).
Movistar Team bid farewell to the Eastern race without the same fortune they found in previous races, yet grabbing some decent results. Ion Izagirre finished in fourth place overall, just five seconds off the podium, after suffering a crash into the opening TT to Oropesa -the time lost there likely cost him the win- and recovering significantly from out of the top-15 in the GC. The Basque was sixth atop Fredes, 12th into Alzira's bunch sprint on Friday and even third yesterday in Xorret de Catí, behind Poels and former team-mate Beñat Intxausti (SKY).
The Blues' consistent performances were rounded off by Javi Moreno and Jesús Herrada. The Andalusian ended in fifth spot after a regular, quiet race, ever since the TT (11th) and until the Queen stage (10th). Meanwhile, the younger of the Herradas came close to success on day two – only lost to Daniel Martin (EQS) – and balanced his struggling in steep ramps like Xorret's – 12th, more than a minute behind – with a fine TT (5th). He even went on the attack today into the descent of the Alto del Oronet.
The good teamwork from Dayer Quintana and José Herrada – caught with 800m from the finish of Fredes – and the flat support group formed by Arcas – exciting pro debut for the Aragonese -, Erviti (10th in the TT) and Ventoso reasserts the collective value from the riders directed by Jaimerena and Laguía. Together with the Blues' magnificent display in the Dubai Tour, the Movistar Team reminds, once again, the idea that Quintana and Valverde are only the top of the iceberg leading to UCI WorldTour ranking wins in 2013-15.
Foto ©: Photo Gomez Sport / Luis Ángel Gómez