Tour de Suisse (st. 1) / Dauphiné (st. 7)
Great opening TT in Switzerland by both Ion (5th) and Gorka (9th), as Castroviejo returns into racing. Crash and bruises for Dowsett while riding for glory on quick Baar course
Ion Izagirre continues to impress and certify his quality of big world talent in this 2016 season. The Basque allrounder -just like older brother Gorka and the whole Movistar Team- enjoyed a significant performance improvement on their new Canyon Speedmax CF SLX bikes to fight for sucess in the opening, 6.4km time trial in and around Baar, with rain involuntarily favouring the hopes of José Luis Jaimerena's squad.
It was the younger from the Ormaiztegi saga's task to clock the best time from the Blues for the day, 5th at 6” from Fabian Cancellara (TFS). Gorka, in turn, led the race for some minutes to finish in 9th spot, 10" back. Both were able to beat many of the pre-race GC candidates, like Kelderman (+10”), Thomas (+12”), Gesink (+22”), López (+23”), Van Garderen (+28”), Spilak (+31”) or Costa (+38”), and leave an excellent impression before the big mountains come on Wednesday.
The day's other happy news came as Jonathan Castroviejo got back into competition, 101 days after his crash in Portugal. On the other hand, though, Alex Dowsett was unlucky as a minor technical error cost him a crash with just 2km remaining on the course, following a great intermediate check. Hills will be on the menu for Sunday, with 188km and four laps over a Cat-2 ascent.
Dauphiné: Marc, Dayer into early moves
Over at the queen stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné, the Movistar Team featured into all main attacks in the early part of the race. Marc Soler tested his legs into a 25-man attack through Champ-Laurent (Cat-1), quickly caught by Tinkoff. The Russian squad's subsequent attack with Contador into the Col de la Madeleine (HC) was joined by Aru (AST) and Dayer Quintana, caught near the climb. Jesús Herrada (23rd overall, 6’43” down) was the last of the telephone squad's members to lose contact into a selected group by SKY into the Méribel finishing climb, where Froome saved his yellow jersey before tomorrow's Superdévoluy decider. Pinot (FDJ) won the stage as Bardet (ALM) held the virtual lead for a breathtaking final hour after a superb Madeleine descent.