Vuelta a Asturias (final stage)
Dani closes great Vuelta a Asturias for Movistar Team -two stage wins- with his maiden success in Blue colours; Unzué squad's victory tally now up to 18 in 2016
Movistar Team claimed all success not gathered by Briton Hugh Carthy (CJR), overall winner of the Vuelta a Asturias, to close an impressive five weeks before the Giro. Fourteen victories in barely 36 days -18 in total this season, with eight different riders; just two short of the pre-'Corsa Rosa' record-high set a year ago- have been claimed by the Blues after today's success in Oviedo by Dani Moreno, a rider who came to the 'Vueltina' with a lot of wear and tear, both physically and psychologically, yet bounced back to find the right path and close the Spanish stagerace with a big smile.
The favourites didn't move today until the decisive Alto del Violeo (Cat-2), just 7km from the end of a short (120km), lumpy, moving stage. A strong team acceleration from the José Luis Jaimerena-led group was countered by an attack from Carthy, quickly reached down by Dani Moreno before Pardilla (CJR) and Figueiredo (RPB) bridged back to cross the KOM banner together. As the Portuguese rider was left behind into the descent, the trio cooperated perfectly until the finish, where a well-timed effort from Dani was enough to beat Pardilla (2nd) and Carthy (3rd). Today's win also takes Dani up to 3rd overall.
Dani Moreno: “It's been a great satisfaction, how this Vuelta a Asturias has ended for us. We did a great race also on day one, but Caja Rural was too strong for us. It's been a good taste for us after all, with yesterday's win by Carlos and mine today.
"I didn't know the Violeo climb, and it has been a tough one for me. I was actually holding my horses a bit through the ascent, because I didn't have a clear idea of how the final slopes were. We started it off strong after Ucha was caught down, because the peloton was already strung out and, from man number five or six into the peloton, suffering was too much to overtake and enter the climb in good place. Once Carthy attacked, I started to control the gap, seeing how long I could let him go while I saved some legs for the last part of the climb. Later on, seeing that I was going well, I followed his wheel, with 'Pardillita' reaching to us a big later. We took some good turns until the finish and I could win this one for the team.
"It's a very happy, special win for me, because my daughter Lisa was born last week and I had only three, four days to spend with her and her mum before coming to Asturias. I'm so excited to get back home and profit from my rest weeks to stay with her two. It's being a hard start to the season: many weeks on top form, lots of time out of home, on altitude training, competitions where the weather wasn't good for us… I plan to enjoy every single second of my rest and give my best in the second part of the season."
Picture ©: Photo Gomez Sport / Luis Ángel Gómez