Pedrero (16th) & Moreno (18º) stay with Vuelta GC contenders until final 7km into Hoya de la Mora as Oliveira enters early moves; Movistar Team down to six as Fernández abandons. Izagirre also into long escape at ToB opener
Miguel Ángel López (AST) claimed his second stage victory in the 2017 Vuelta a España at Sunday's Hoya de la Mora (HC) mountain-top finish, following another really fast day in Andalusia where the 129km were covered by the top climbers in barely three-and-a-half hours. The Colombian profited from Alberto Contador's (TFS) move almost from the foot of the Alto del Purche (Cat-1) to make his way up the remains of an early breakaway which contained one from the Movistar Team in Nelson Oliveira.
The Portuguese rider chose not to follow the early, painful pace from Rossetto (COF) and Armée (LTS) at the Alto de Hazallanas (1ª) and followed instead a luxury, four-man pursuit including Bardet (ALM), Kruijswijk (TLJ) and Adam Yates (ORS), the latter overtaken by López in the finale for the win. Behind the Colombian, into a bunchj always following the pace by Sky into the Sierra Nevada road, Antonio Pedrero and Dani Moreno completed a notable performance by keeping the pace of the biggest names in this Vuelta until the final 7km.
Antonio (16th, 2'42" down) and Dani (18th, 3'37" behind) completed, together with Richard Carapaz (28th), the best performances from a Movistar Team which lost its third member in barely one week as Rubén Fernández dropped out. The youngster from Murcia, still suffering after his crash in Alicante one week ago, and with pain to his right foot almost since the start of the race, left the Vuelta during stage fifteen, prior to the final rest day on Monday. The riders and sports directors will be travelling from Granada to Logroño into a special flight coordinated by the race organisers; the rest of the convoy will be covering the long road to northern Spain by car.
Tour of Britain: Izagirre on the attack at opening stage
In turn, the Movistar Team opened a second racing front in Scotland on Sunday with the first stage of the Tour of Britain, whose rolling 190km from Edinburgh to Kelso -including some echelons that briefly split the bunch into two groups- saw a narrow bunch sprint conceding the first leader's jersey to Australia's Caleb Ewan (ORS). The six Blues directed by José Luis Arrieta finished inside the main field after Gorka Izagirre made part of the original, eight-man breakaway, caught with 45km to go. The race will head into Northumberland tomorrow for its longest stage (212km), down into the coast and towards Blyth's finish.