Carapaz back with strong legs at Asturias opener
27 April 2018

Vuelta a Asturias (st. 1) / Romandie (st. 3)

Ecuadorian from Movistar Team takes 5th place in Pola de Lena; stays with GC contenders at decisive Carabanzo climb, along with Rubén Fernández (+9").

Richard Carapaz (Movistar Team) started to show his good fitness level leading up to the Giro d’Italia with a very decent performance within the GC contenders on stage one of the Vuelta a Asturias -177km from Oviedo to Pola de Lena, featuring six Cat-3 climbs-.

The Ecuadorian, well supported by the rest of the Blues before the foot of the last of three climbs to the Alto de Carabanzo (Cat-3), was able to follow, together with Rubén Fernández, the numerous moves into a short (2km), steep (9%) climb where only twenty riders coped with the pace. Richard even dared to launch the final sprint, later being relegated by the fastest guys to 5th into a tight finish, where Russian Dmitrii Strakhov (LOK) pipped Jonathan Caicedo (MED), who was already rising his arms victorious.

The close gaps -Rubén barely conceded 9” into a second echelon, with Antonio Pedrero just 15″ behind- at the finish should make for a very exciting Queen stage on Saturday, finishing atop the Alto del Acebo (Cat-1) after four other categorized ascents in 166km, rain likely to become another protagonist of the race.

Romandía: Sepúlveda building up form before Giro

In turn, the demanding, crucial mountain TT in the Tour de Romandie -10km of really steady slopes from Ollon to Villars- saw Eduardo Sepúlveda finishing as top Movistar Team performer in the day, 2’24” behind day’s winner Egan Bernal (SKY), as Primoz Roglic (TLJ) consolidated his GC lead with a strong 2nd place. ‘Edu’ showed again at the Swiss race he’s on the right track before the 2018 Giro d’Italia, a race he was confirmed for -just like Carapaz and Fernández- as one of eight Movistar Team participants. Saturday will see riders take on the decisive stage of this year’s race, with 149km and five rated ascents in and around Sion.

Stage result

Picture 1-2 (c): Photo Gomez Sport