Carapaz (3rd), Landa within lead group in Asturias opener; Blues still strong in Switzerland
03 May 2019

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

Richard and Mikel -alongside José Joaquín Rojas (4th)- in the mix at Pola de Lena's sprint, prior to Saturday's Alto del Acebo climb. Crash into final kilometer slightly delays Blues in Romandie, with Betancur still 6th before Queen stage.

The Movistar Team had a notable presence near the top of the table in its two men’s race on Friday, leaving a good impression with its climbers prior to Sunday’s crucial mountain days in both the Vuelta a Asturias and the Tour de Romandie.

The Movistar Team at the sign-on in Oviedo. (c) Photo Gomez Sport

At the Spanish race, covering 179km on stage one with five rated ascents from Oviedo to Pola de Lena, the Telefónica-backed squad took the reins of the field for most of the day, following a two-man break with Daniel Turek (ICA) and Paco Mancebo (MTR). The good work by Héctor Carretero, Lluís Mas and Antonio Pedrero was seconded later on by Mikel Landa, who drove the pace into the favourites’ group at the last climb to Carabanzo (Cat-2), leaving only 20 riders ahead.

Despite the efforts from the Basque climber as well as Richard Carapaz, who kept all rivals under vigilance at the top and the final descent, José Joaquín Rojas wasn’t able to finish the work off into the reduced field’s sprint as he was boxed in and had to overtake several places. The Spaniard took 4th, after winner Julián Quintero (MZN), Orluis Aular (MTR) and Carapaz (3rd). The Blues will have a chance to bounce back tomorrow at the climb + descent of the Alto del Acebo, end of a 171km trek finishing in Cangas del Narcea.

Andrey Amador was part of the early break on stage three of the 2019 Tour de Romandie. (c) Heinz Zwicky / BettiniPhoto

In turn, the Tour de Romandie witnessed a victory from David Gaudu (GFC) in the tough uphill finish in Romont -stage three, 160km-, a finish worth a classic with several hills which further shrank the size of the peloton. The Movistar Team protected well its three main GC references, with Carlos Betancur taking 13th place as Eduardo Sepúlveda (16th) and Winner Anacona (19th) also finished in the top-20.

The three men guided by José Luis Arrieta were slightly held back by a crash near the lead of the main group inside the final kilometer, a circumstance which took some seconds from them at the finish: Betancur 3″ down, then the other two at 6″. Carlos remains in a fine sixth spot overall, just 21″ behind Primoz Roglic (TJV) -Anacona now sits in 11th place, with ‘Balito’ in 14th, all within 40″-, before Saturday’s Queen stage towards Torgon, a tough Cat-1 climb prceeded by Sorens (Cat-2), Jaunpass (Cat-1), Saanenmöser (Cat-2) and the Col des Mosses (Cat-1) – and likely to be covered by snow.

Stage 3 results – 2019 Tour de Romandie – Photo gallery:

Cover picture (c): Photo Gomez Sport