Vuelta a Burgos (st. 4) / Pologne (finale)
Young Movistar Team sprinter claims resounding win against big WorldTour rivals at home in Clunia, on stage four of the Vuelta a Burgos; grabs fifth success of his 2017 season, Blues' 31st win of the year
Winner on Monday at the Circuito de Getxo in the Basque country, Carlos Barbero (Movistar Team) has rounded off an outstanding week for him by claiming a second victory atop the 'Roman City' of Clunia, end of Friday's stage four in the Vuelta a Burgos. The biggest local rider, already a victor atop the 1st-century theatre in 2015 in front of now-teammates Dani Moreno and Jesús Herrada, bested two great Classics riders this time: Italy's Gianni Moscon (SKY) and Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe (QST).
Barbero, well supported into the final kilometers by his Movistar Team colleagues -most notably by a strong Jorge Arcas into the approach towards the last kick uphill, not to forget Richard Carapaz, the final lead-out into the last 600 metres-, was boxed in several times but still kept composure, sought for his moment to move and rose his arms victorious for the fifth time this season (Getxo; stages in Madrid & Castilla y León; Alentejo overall).
It's the 31st victory this season -just five short of their all-time best- for the Movistar Team, which has already collected victory in seven of the eight months of this season. The Blues, which keep Dani Moreno into 11th overal, will tackle on Saturday the long-awaited, traditional Lagunas de Neila HC ascent, end of a 138km journey starting at Comunero de Revenga.
Carlos Barbero: "I was here at the finish last Saturday to ride the climb like four, five times. The people guarding the place didn't allow me in, and I had to tell them I was preparing myself for the Vuelta a Burgos. In the end they let me in and I could climb this several times, check my sprinting distance – everything went perfectly thanks to that.
"If they had told me I could choose one stage to win in this year's race, I'd have selected this finish. The Castillo climb is really beautiful, but I wanted to repeat my success on this climb in 2015. It was quite more surprising that time, while today's was more about the process – I thought about this finish for weeks.
"The support I get from the fans here at home is incredible. Every town we pass by, I can hear my name and many people shouting for the team. It seemed as though I had won the Tour de France (smiles). Claiming a success in front of them is even more beautiful."
Pologne: Izagirre finishes 14th overall
In turn, Dylan Teuns (BMC) took overall honours in the 2017 Tour de Pologne after holding off closest rivals Wout Poels (SKY) and Rafal Majka (BOH) at the grueling 132km showdown around Bukowina Tatrzanska's ski resort. The Movistar Team had two riders inside the early break in Rory Sutherland and Dayer Quintana, and later fought to remain close to the main GC contenders with Gorka Izagirre and José Joaquín Rojas, respectively 17th and 19th at 55". Izagirre closed his week as 14th in the final general classification.
Picture (c): Photo Gomez Sport / Luis Ángel Gómez