Vuelta a España (st. 6) / Poitou-Charentes (day 3)
Colombian crashes behind another rider at descent of Garbí while into short GC group in Vuelta a España day six, finishes the stage with several injuries. Rojas takes 11th after making part of big break alongside Soler and notable Antonio Pedrero
UPDATE | Betancur abandons Vuelta a España
Just as Carlos Betancur finally reached the form to ride toe-to-toe with the top GC contenders during stage six of the Vuelta a España, a rare incident involving American Tejay van Garderen (BMC) –who crashed just in front of him into the downhill of the Alto del Garbí (Cat-2), the final, demanding climb just before Sagunto's finish– ruined the Colombian's chances of a good overall finish in the race. Betancur, who had resisted the impressive pace generated by a series of attacks from Alberto Contador (TFS), sustained a deep wound to his jaw and blows to his back and ankle, which will be treated at a medical center after the stage. Betancur was still able to complete the stage, twelve minutes behind winner Tomasz Marczynski (LTS).
The Polish rider was part of a 'monster' 37-rider breakaway formed into a fast, opening 50km, which included three from the Movistar Team: Wednesday's third-place finisher Marc Soler, Antonio Pedrero and José Joaquín Rojas. Remarkable, once again, was Pedrero's performance, the young Catalan climber able to cope with the top riders' pace and staying with Marczynski, Mas (QST), Sánchez (AST) and Poljanski (BOH) after the Garbí, to be just dropped from that front group with 12km from the finish. From that point on, he started working hard for Rojas, who was coming together with the GC riders and ended up taking the Blues' best result today, 11th in the stage at 26".
The Movistar Team will relentlessly continue to seek for a success that turns things up in this Vuelta on Friday's longest stage of the race: 207km from Llíria to Cuenca and through the traditional slopes of the Alto del Castillo, twelve kilometers from the finish.
Poitou-Charentes: Castroviejo 2nd at decisive TT
Closer to taking their 32nd success of the season was the Movistar Team on day three of the Tour du Poitou-Charentes, composed by a morning stage of 94 kilometers and a 21km ITT in the afternoon, both in Neuville. After an eventful sprint -which the Blues weren't able to contest, hampered by crashes with no injuries for Carretero and De la Parte in the finale-, Jonathan Castroviejo tried to squeeze the Spanish outfit's chances for glory, over a course perfectly suited for specialists.
Castroviejo paid a brief visit to the hotseat after setting a quickest time of 23'51", before young specialist Mads Pedersen (TFS) bested him by twenty-six seconds to take over the GC lead, 35" ahead of 'Castro' (2nd). The triple Spanish TT champion will have a hard battle to fight tomorrow over a demanding final circuit in Poitiers, which includes three climbs of the Côte de Buxerolles (11% gradients).