Vuelta a Castilla y León (st. 2)
Nine-man split rewards again GC leader Cimolai (ICA) in Villada; Daniele, Nelson now in 4th, 6th overall before Saturday’s showdown, with two rated climbs before a flat finish in the Bierzo area.
The hard work by the Movistar Team to bounce back on Friday’s Vuelta a Castilla y León 2019 stage two wasn’t enough to match a so-far unbeaten race leader in Spain: Davide Cimolai (ICA), winner at the group sprint in Villada after 170km with plenty of crosswinds from the start in Frómista.
The riders directed by José Luis Jaimerena and Pablo Lastras had to bring back a dangerous, ten-man early break featuring Canadian Guillaume Boivin (ICA), one of the riders who finished inside the top split in Castrojeriz on Thursday. An initial split by the lateral winds with about 30km to go saw twenty riders ahead, with all seven Movistar Team members present.
However, another split closer to Villada’s finish further reduced the group to nine men, with just two of the Blues staying there: Daniele Bennati -3rd at the finish, behind Cimolai and another sprinter in Eduard Grosu (DMP)- and Nelson Oliveira (6th).
The new GC sees Bennati and Oliveira climbing onto fourth and sixth overall, twenty seconds behind Cimolai, with just one day to go. Stage three on Saturday, 151km from León to Villafranca del Bierzo, will climb the ascents of Foncebadón (Cat-2) and Onamio (Cat-3) before a very flat last fifty kilometers.
Cover picture (c): Photo Gomez Sport