Setmana Valenciana (st. 3)
Alicia takes third top-ten in as many days, leads Blues home at another bunch sprint. Alba crashes with 2km remaining, sustains bruises to left knee and back.
Dutchwoman Nicole Steigenga (SWA) took a solo attack to fruition into the final 15 kilometers of stage three in the Setmana Valenciana -137km from Sagunto to Valencia-, holding off the main field by a handful of seconds. The Movistar Team riders, in turn, displayed their strength again and always kept the front of the race.
All six Blues directed by Jorge Sanz reached the top of the Alto del Oronet (Cat-2), the day’s only categorized climbs, inside a selected, 50-rider group that later grew as many others bridged back following the descent and before Steigenga’s attack. At the bunch’s sprint, Alicia González took yet another top-ten finish in 9th place, with Lourdes Oyarbide in 13th.
The bad news today came from Alba Teruel, who crashed in the streets of Valencia as the peloton covered the final two kilometers. The fall did not have any severe consequences for the local hero, who was able to finish the stage. However, she went to the medical area at the finish to cure bruises to her left knee -some blows also affecting her back and left side-.
The Setmana Valenciana will come to an end in Benidorm on Sunday with 117km and three laps of a tough circuit including the Alto de Finestrat (Cat-2). González, still in 4th place, and Mavi García, also finishing into the bunch and now placed 10th, will start the day within the GC’s top-ten.
Picture (c): Movistar Team