Valls, Verona close to top contenders in Alcalá de los Gazules

20 February 2019
Imagen de la noticia ‛Valls, Verona close to top contenders in Alcalá de los Gazules’

Vuelta a Andalucía (st. 1)

Movistar Team duo within 20 seconds of first GC leader Wellens (LTS) in tough cobbled finish, start to a race with a majority of uphill arrivals.

Tim Wellens (LTS) repeated last year’s stage victory and GC lead at the grueling Alcalá de los Gazules slope (1.3km at 10%), on day one of the 2019 Vuelta a Andalucía, as the Movistar Team had two of its climbers performing well in the opening act of the Ruta del Sol with Rafa Valls and Carlos Verona.

The Spanish duo took 13th and 15th at a final climb which Héctor Carretero launched with a hard pace from the foot of the ascent, leaving only about 20 riders at the front including his two team-mates… and Edu Prades (19th), again at a very good level just behind Verona, despite an incident inside the final 2km. The group finished within 20 seconds, gaps which should open up even more at Friday’s crucial ITT -again with an uphill finish- at La Guardia de Jaén (16km).

Verona during stage two. (c) Photo Gomez Sport / Movistar Team

Before that time trial, the Vuelta a Andalucía will tackle a predominantly sprinter-suited finish in Torredonjimeno on Thursday, also with a slight gradient at the end (3%), yet the considerable length of its route (216km) could alter the expected scenario.

Cover picture (c): Photo Gomez Sport

Male Team 20 - 24 Feb

Vuelta a Andalucía - Ruta del Sol ESP

(1st Stage) Sanlúcar - Alcalá de los Gazules (170.5 km)
  1. 01 Tim Wellens Lotto Soudal 4h24'12"
  2. 02 Jakob Fuglsang Astana Pro Team +5"
  3. 03 Ion Izagirre Astana Pro Team "
  4. 13 Rafa Valls Movistar Team +16"
  5. 15 Carlos Verona Movistar Team +21"
  6. 19 Edu Prades Movistar Team +22"
  7. 24 Héctor Carretero Movistar Team +33"
  8. 31 José Joaquín Rojas Movistar Team +37"
  9. 55 Carlos Barbero Movistar Team +1'15"
  10. 58 Jürgen Roelandts Movistar Team +1'27"