Tour de l'Ardèche (st. 2)
Colombian from Movistar Team finishes inside second group at monster Queen stage, with 3,300m vertical gain and four tough climbs.
Colombia’s Paula Patiño continues to progress in cycling’s top tier and in mountainous courses, the La Ceja native taking 5th place at Friday’s Queen stage of the Tour de l’Ardèche (UCI 2.1), a huge mountain trek over the climbs of Limouches (HC), la Bataille (Cat-1), la Machine (Cat-1) and la Chau (Cat-2) right before the finish in Font d’Urle (135km).
The 23-year-old from the Movistar Team -which had Lourdes Oyarbide inside the early, 11-woman break– finished inside a second group of favourites, alongside Guilman (FDJ), Levenez (ARK) and Kastelijn (CIM), behind the three women dominating the stage and the overall standings: Mavi García (ALE) -who took her second consecutive victory-, Anna Kiesenhofer (AUT, 2nd) and Lauren Stephens (TIB, 3rd).
On the other hand, Eider Merino was forced to abandon during stage two, the Basque struggling with pain in the days leading up to the French event and DNF on Friday, with cramps induced by her injury, despite finishing near the front on the inaugural stage. The Blues are now down to five riders heading into Saturday’s stage three, with the Villeneuve climb (500m, 5%) just before the finish in Avignon (113 km).
Cover picture (c): Velofocus