Giro d'Italia / Madrid (st. 1)
Movistar Team shows committed to its full to protecting Nairo Quintana in Giro d'Italia; Colombian reaches finish inside main peloton as Pöstlberger (BOH) catches himself and all sprinters by surprise for pink
Austria's Lukas Pöstlberger (BOH) profited from chaos into the late twists of stage one in the Giro d'Italia -206km from Alghero to Olbia- to don the first Maglia Rosa of the 2017 race. It was a calm day with a nonetheless stressful finale –a crash by Silvan Dillier (BMC), just before the 3km-to-go 'protection zone', split the bunch into two-, which the Movistar Team covered orderly to keep Nairo Quintana at the front of the group until the very finish.
The work by Sutherland, Rojas, De La Parte, Herrada and Anacona at the lead of the bunch, as well as Bennati, Gorka Izagirre and Amador's sheltering duties against the wind -a crucial factor today, and one that made the stage finish over half an hour behind schedule-, all kept the Blues' GC contender calm in the first of three stages across Sardinia. The lumpiest of the trio will come on Saturday, with 221km to Tortolì that include the Genna Silana (Cat-2) ascent just over 50 kilometers from the end.
Vuelta a Madrid: Carapaz takes fine 3rd at mountainous opener
The 30th Vuelta Ciclista a la Comunidad de Madrid saw Raúl Alarcón (W52) keeping his winning streak alive on Friday's 145km stage one around Las Rozas, over the mountains of the Sierra de Guadarrama. The Spaniard outsprinted the rest of a nine-man group comprising part of the early break and a group of favourites going apart on the decisive Navacerrada (Cat-1) ascent. Between the former was Richard Carapaz (Movistar Team), first through the demanding climb and intelligent enough to keep energy for a good 3rd place at the closing sprint, just behind Alarcón and Strakhov (LOK).
The squad directed by José Luis Laguía, almost in full strength at the bunch -2'33" behind the escapees; Carlos Barbero took 14th, fifth within his group-, will seek to keep Richard's privileged position and contest the two sprints left in this race with Carlos. Saturday will bring another short (148km), fast stage over the little hills of southern Madrid, in and around Valdemoro.