Sepúlveda, Quintana to the fore

22 January 2018
Imagen de la noticia ‛Sepúlveda, Quintana to the fore’

Vuelta a San Juan (st. 2)

Movistar Team duo put up with demanding pace by GC contenders into short climb and ending flat in Punta Negra; Villalobos (CAS) takes over GC lead in Argentina

Costa Rica’s Román Villalobos (CAS) surprised the WorldTour teams at the end of stage two in the Vuelta a San Juan (149km) with a strong finish against the group of favourites following a late move with Escuela (AVF) and Benoot (LTS) into the demanding slopes -1.3km at 8% gradient- of the Alto Punta Negra, climbed four times and crested just 2km from the finish on its final ascent.

The Movistar Team, sheltered inside the bunch until the original, four-man break was caught inside the final 25km, showed active in the finale with Winner Anacona, who went on a late move against the wind and was caught by the bunch into the last 15 kilometers. At the final short climb, Dayer Quintana (15th) and local hero Eduardo Sepúlveda -the Blues’ top finisher in 12th spot- were able to keep the pace of the GC group and keep all their chances alive.

The Vuelta a San Juan will start to clock significant differences on Tuesday’s 14.4km individual time trial in and around the province’s capital. The TT, combined with Wednesday’s trek towards San Agustín -featuring one Cat-1 ascent- and most notably Friday’s Alto Colorado finish, should decide the overall outcome.

** Vuelta a San Juan TT start times (Tuesday 23rd, all local, add 4h for Euro time) – Pedrero: 17.24; De la Parte: 18.17; Carapaz: 18.22; Anacona: 18.29; Quintana: 18.38; Sepúlveda: 18.45.

Picture (c): BettiniPhoto.net