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"I am more than satisfied with what was done yesterday and this GC win. Hopefully this will help me to get a spot on the team for the Giro, although with our level it is always difficult."

Photo: Sirotti




03.05.2015 @ 22:34 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Jesus Herrada and Igor Anton completed an excellent day for the Movistar team in the Vuelta a Asturias when Herrada won the stage and Anton took the overall victory. After a big solo attack by Anton, the pair arrived at the finish as part of a 6-rider group that also included their teammates Ion Izagirre and Ruben Fernandez and while Herrada won the sprint ahead of Amets Txurruka (Caja Rural) and Izagirre, Anton took the overall victory.


Movistar went into the two-day Vuelta Asturias as the only WorldTour team and with a star-studded line-up of climbers, they were expected to dominate the mountainous event. However, few would have expected them to control the race in the way they did in today’s final stage of the race.


Already yesterday, the team had impressed as Igor Anton had taken a solo victory and Jesus Herrada sprinted to the final spot on the podium but today they managed to do even better. Again they took first and third but to make things even better they put no less than four riders in the top 5 and secured the overall victory for Anton.


All day, they worked hard behind a strong breakaway that even seemed to have a chance to make it to the finish when they hit the bottom of the final climb with 10km to go. Francisco Mancebo (Skydive) and Angel Madrazo (Caja Rural) proved to be hard to catch and this made the race hard.


However, Anton had proved that he was the strongest climber in the race and again he confirmed his status when he dropped everybody with a big attack on the steep slopes. He flew past the front duo while the peloton splintered to pieces behind.


Anton crested the summit with 7km to go as the lone leader and entered the final 5km with a 20-second advantage over a three-rider group with Herrada and the Caja Rural duo of Madrazo and Amets Txurruka. Madrazo sacrificed himself completely for his teammate and so got dropped.


However, Movistar really played with the muscles when Ion Izagirre, Ruben Fernandez and Omar Fraile (Caja Rural) made it back to the chasers and so they had three riders in the group that could follow wheels while Anton worked hard to maintain his advantage. The Basque still had a 5-second advantage with 1km to go but a strong turn by Fraile brought him back. Instead, it came down to a sprint and here Herrada lived up to his status as the fastest rider by taking the win, with Txurruka and Izagirre completing the podium.


Anton rolled across the line in fifth but that was enough to win the race overall, with Txurruka and Herrada rounding out the top 3. Herrada won the points competition while Rodolfo Torres (Colombia) was the best climber and Louletano the best team.


"Rather than attack to win the stage itself on the Alto de Violeo, I did go ahead to not take any risks," Anton said. "We saw how the final descent of the Cobertoria yesterday was really dangerous and today I wanted to be a little more cautious. Anyway, it is true that while I tried to stay safe, I saw that I had a gap. I even started to dream of victory, but in the end, by a hair, they have come from behind. Fortunately Jesus won and that makes me even happier.


"I am more than satisfied with what was done yesterday and this GC win. Hopefully this will help me to get a spot on the team for the Giro, although with our level it is always difficult. There is always much talk about Nairo and Alejandro, but the season has shown that we are far more than that and that every rider can take victories."



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