Spaniard closes in on Ruta del Sol stage win
Spaniard bested by Modolo (EFD) in close call for first win this season. Landa, Soler remain in 4th, 6th overall.
An unexpected incident at the sprint of Herrera, finish of stage three in the 2018 Vuelta a Andalucía, prevented Carlos Barbero (Movistar Team), one of the Blues’ most winning riders in 2017 with five triumphs, from opening his account this season.
The Spaniard, well supported by his team-mates into a difficult run-in to the finish, with fast descents, roundabous and a sharp corner left before the last straight, progressed strong in the uphill finish but was later boxed in against the barriers by Italian Sacha Modolo (EFD), who later came back to his original trajectory to take the day’s honours.
The GC remains unchanged, with three Movistar Team riders -Mikel Landa (4th), Marc Soler (6th) and Andrey Amador (13th)- within the top 15 overall before the weekend’s decisive stages: Saturday’s journey through Grazalema, with Las Palomas (Cat-1), El Boyar (Cat-3) and a grueling, final 2k over the cobblestones of Alcalá de los Gazules; and Sunday’s 14km ITT showdown in and around Barbate.
REACTION / Carlos Barbero: “I told Modolo that you can’t do things like that. At the last turn he just charged against me, but I could make it back to the place where I was, and with 200 meters to go, as the final straight slightly turned right, everyone was going on the right-hand side and I jumped through the left, where the route was longer. He saw I was coming strong from behind, and as the pictures should show, I had to brake and even after that I could gain terrain on him. I think today’s sprint tactics were pretty evident. My legs felt really great, but the race jury decided it’s not for me, and you can’t do anything against that. I feel really bad, I feel like I could win today and I wasn’t let do so. I’ll try to chase the win again tomorrow, but today’s success won’t ever come back.”
Picture (c): Luis Ángel Gómez / Photo Gomez Sport