Lloyd Mondory continued AG2R’s recent strong form when he produced a powerful sprint to win today’s stage of the Vuelta a Burgos. He beat IAM rider Vicente Reynes and teammate Sebastian Turgot comfortably.
Today’s stage of the Vuelta a Burgos was considered a hilly one, with 3 Third Category climbs on the route, with the last one coming close to the line with its decent taking riders into the finish town of Villarcayo.
A large early break was established, comprised of Egor Silin (Katusha), Javier Moreno (Movistar) Axel Domont (AG2R), Jonathan Fumeaux (IAM), Oscar Taborre (Neri-Sottoli), Miguel Minguez (Euskadi) and Ibai Salas (Burgos).
Despite the lack of a GC threat in the move, the break was never allowed more than 3’12, a measly advantage to hold over a quite difficult 142km stage, even though the men out front worked really well together.
The GPM points were not hotly contested due to Nairo Quintana having a convincing lead in that competition, but the results over the first climb of the day, the Alto de la Ribera (3rd Cat), the order was Fumeaux, Minguez, Salas, Domont.
The break continued o gain time up the second climb of the day although their gap was still below two minutes. The results at the top of the Alto de las Hoyas (3rd Cat) was Domont, Minguez, Salas, Taborre.
The gap then began to dwindle rapidly under an Astana chase and Domont and Salas decided that if the wanted to win the stage, they had to attack now and they did so, leaving all of their companions in their wake to fade back to the peloton.
But it was all for nothing as they began the day’s final climb, the Alto de las Hoyas with just a 6 second advantage and were caught soon after.
As soon as it was all together, Burgos rider David Belda attacked. Blel Kadri (AG2R) countered and flew by the Spaniard, blowing up Johann Tschopp who had tried to follow him in the process before Katusha’s Alexander Kolobnev attacked and joined him.
The two worked well together and crested the final climb with a 12 second lead and despite a strong chase from IAM, their gap hovered constantly between 10 and 12 seconds.
Meanwhile, it was announced that Nairo Quintana was guaranteed a win in the Mountains Classification due to none of his rivals, mainly Daniel Moreno of Katusha, taking any points on the day and the day’s final stage being a time trial.
With 4km to go, IAM were looking like not being able to close the gap, but Movistar joined the chase to keep Quintana safe and the seemed to do the trick as 1km from the line Kolobnev and Kadri were caught.
It was all together until AG2R duo Turgot and Mondory produced a powerful effort in the final that only Reynes could follow and Mondory powered past his teammate to take a comfortable win, while Reynes just about beat Turgot on the line, who had begun to celebrate his teammates win.
Quintana had a relatively easy day but Moreno launched a powerful sprint and managed to get himself on the right side of a one second split in the bunch to take the leaders jersey. But with the last day being a TT, Quintana still looks like the favourite as statistics show he is a better time trialist than the Katusha man and Moren is on the same time as Quintana and only leads through better results achived in terms of stage placings.
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