Vuelta a Asturias (st. 2) / Romandie (st. 4)
Ecuadorian climber from Movistar Team grabs astonishing win at Asturias’ Queen stage after powerful attack with 5km remaining; leads GC with one short, tough stages en route to Oviedo, Sunday. Rubén Fernández finishes 3rd, Pedrero 5th.
He started the race from Oviedo on Friday as one of the biggest contenders for the overall title and today, Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz shifted all expectations on his performance with a splendid win in the Queen stage of the 2018 Vuelta a Asturias -166km, five rated climbs-. The Movistar Team rider came solo to the finish line of the Alto del Acebo (Cat-1) with fourty seconds of advantage on the main pursuit group, following a strong acceleration with 5km remaining.
Carapaz opens his European, professional victory account after several podium finishes (runner up at 2017 Route du Sud; 3rd at 2018 Settimana Coppi e Bartali) in the 20 months he’s spent as part of the Blue squad, the Movistar Team also obtaining its 15th win of the season -with seven different riders- thanks to the 24-year-old climber from the Carchí region. The Telefónica-backed team’s great overall performance -with all lads directed by Pablo Lastras fully committed to supporting Carapaz before the foot of the Acebo- was completed by two other good results: Rubén Fernández took 3rd place and Antonio Pedrero, who also went briefly on the attack in the opening slopes of the climb, finished in 5th spot.
The Movistar Team will tackle a tough final stage on Sunday, with just 119km yet with bad weather again expected in Asturias and the steep Alto del Violeo (Cat-2) just before the finish in downtown Oviedo.
REACTION / Richard Carapaz:
“I’m really happy because we fought so hard to take this success, the entire team. I feel so proud today because I worked a lot during the last month to be in good form and aim at this success before the Giro. We will try to enjoy this as much as we can before taking on that tough one tomorrow! It’s been difficult today, especially because of the rain. The roads were really slippery and there were many crashes, but the team stayed together all day and everything went as we planned it into that final climb. We’ve got a strong advantage in the GC now, and even though our rivals won’t make it easy at all for us, I think we’ve got a decent margin to keep calm and control our rivals with this really strong group of team-mates.”
Amador into long breakaway at Romandie
The Movistar Team was also in the mix at the Queen stage of the Tour de Romandie, as Andrey Amador made part of a five-man early breakaway –alongside Nieve (MTS), Pernsteiner (TBM), Carthy (EFD) and De Gendt (LTS)– leading the way for more than 100km before getting caught by the race contenders at the final ascent to Les Collons (Cat-1). As Jakob Fuglsang (AST) triumphed in Sion, Jaime Rosón took a fine 8th place into the first pursuit group, which also contained Eduardo Sepúlveda (19th). The Blue duo remain within the best twenty overall as Slovenia’s Primoz Roglic (LTJ) wears yellow leading into the final stage to Geneva -182km, no major difficulties-.
Pictures (c): Photo Gomez Sport