Vuelta a España (st. 9) / Bretagne Classic
Soler most courageous in Vuelta with long breakaway on Sunday, shines alongside Carapaz and Pedrero (15th) atop Cumbre del Sol. Carretero on the attack at Bretagne Classic, offers first big performance as pro
22, 23, 24 and 25. At those young ages, and against some of the WorldTour's best competitors, Héctor Carretero, Marc Soler, Richard Carapaz and Antonio Pedrero shone for the Movistar Team on Sunday and proved, both on stage nine of the Vuelta a España -174km finishing atop the Cumbre del Sol- and the Bretagne Classic, the big future that's already part of Eusebio Unzué's squad.
Soler soon became a star of the day on Spanish soil, leading a 10-man breakaway which UAE and Cannondale never let go more than 3'30" ahead. From that escape, at the first of two ascents to Puig Llorença, only Tobias Ludvigsson (FDJ) and Marc were able to maintain the pace and tackle the final thirty kilometers' flat in a good position towards Benitatxell.
Caught by the GC group after a big effort, Richard Carapaz took his turn to attack with two impressive accelerations at the last climb, only caught by the top guns with a kilometer and a half to go. With the Ecuadorian's work done, it was Antonio Pedrero's task (15th at the finish) to offer the Blues' best result at a finish conquered by GC leader Chris Froome (SKY). The Movistar riders remain on top of the Vuelta's team GC before the first rest day, while Soler climbed onto the podium after the stage as most courageous rider in the day.
Over at the 241km of the old GP Plouay now turned Bretagne Classic, Movistar Team sought for a late break before the final loop around Ty-Marrec. A phenomenal Héctor Carretero was in charge of leading the moves and even go solo into the final climb, just over three kilometers from the end, in his first big performance of his neo-pro season. Sütterlin in turn tried to help out both Carlos Barbero (16th) and Daniele Bennati (21st) at a selected bunch sprint won by Elia Viviani (SKY).
Marc Soler: “It seems like things are going well for me in the Vuelta after all. We got off to a rough start in Andorra, but we're getting better now. When the breakaway was created, UAE started pushing behind and we thought they were doing so because they were challenging us for the team GC, but then Cannondale took over – they never allowed us having more than three minutes. We knew it'd be hard for us to make it to the finish, but we've at least tried with everything we got, and made sure it'd be hard for them to catch us. I got through the first ascent with Ludvigsson, we were less than two minutes ahead, and so we set up some sort of agreement to try and reach as far as possible. I'm still willing to keep trying and see if we can do something big in this Vuelta. The climbs on week two are longer and with easier slopes, they should suit me better than those explosive ascents we went through lately. However, there's a really strong field of competitors in this Vuelta, so it'll be really hard.”