Vuelta a San Juan (st. 3)
Anacona (5th), Quintana (12th), Carapaz all within 1′ of race leader Alaphilippe (DQT) at 12km Pocito course, first GC duel before mountains on Wednesday, Friday.
Julian Alaphilippe (DQT) claimed an authoritarian second win on a row at the individual time trial stage three of the 2019 Vuelta a San Juan. The 12km parcours in and around Pocito, barely two long straights, witnessed however a very decent performance from the Movistar Team’s climbers, who fared well against their rivals.
Winner Anacona took a fine 5th place in the day, 16″ behind the winner, after his recent support for Nairo Quintana and Richard Carapaz‘s individual chances. The ‘Cóndor’ finished 38″ down to claim 12th, while ‘Richie’ conceded 54″ (19th) to still remain rather close to the GC contenders before the two upcoming mountain stages in Argentina.
Wednesday’s stage four -held over a quite earlier schedule than the previous ones– comprises 185km from San José Jáchal to Villa San Agustín with a long, 20km Cat-1 ascent halfway through the course, followed by long, windy stretches to the end which already created massive echelons during the 2018 race.
REACTION / Winner Anacona (via ESPN):
“I was fortunate enough to find some good legs from the very start of this race, so I knew I could do well over this course. Last year’s course, however, was quite different to today’s: this parcours was for the strongest rouleurs, for those with big horsepower, and even if my condition was good and didn’t feel bad over the course, I feel a bit sad because I could have done better with less of an out-and-back course.
“I still think we as a group have done a good ITT for our standards. Alaphilippe is a strong competitor and both yesterday’s and today’s wins show that he’s one to count on for basically everything from the start of the season, but we the Movistar Team are also in strong form, and either Nairo, Richard or myself could do well and make him suffer.
“Tomorrow’s stage is one to pay much attention to. It was already a surprising one last year with the echelons, and we must stay really focused because things can repeat themselves this time around. We’ll try to do our best and then enjoy the rest day to tackle the Colorado with good attitude. It’s a long climb, not a very demanding one, but considering the long distances before Friday’s ascent, the heat, the wind – it might create havoc. Let’s seek for a good strategy and hopefully have the better of our rivals!”