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Having joined forces with the two Caja Rural riders on the final climb, Moreno easily beat Pardilla and Carthy in the 3-rider sprint on the final stage of the Vuelta Asturias; Carthy took the overall win

Photo: Movistar Team














02.05.2016 @ 14:45 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

One day after Carlos Betancur’s win, Daniel Moreno continued the process of making up for Movistar’s disappointing performance in the queen stage at the Vuelta Asturias by making it two in a row for the Spanish team on the final stage of the race. Having joined forces with the Caja Rural pair on the final climb, the Spaniard easily beat Sergio Pardilla and Hugh Carthy in the 3-rider sprint in Oviedo but third place was enough for Carthy to win the race overall, with Pardilla making it a 1-2 for Caja Rural.


Movistat went into the Vuelta Asturias as the overwhelming favourites with their two-pronged attack of Carlos Betancur and Daniel Moreno. However, the team delivered a hugely disappointing in the queen stage on the first day when they took a beating as Caja Rural demolished the opposition.


With no chances in the GC, the team set its sights on stage wins and wanted to prove that they were still the best team in the mountainous race. Yesterday one of their leaders bounced back as Betancur won the second stage and today it was time for the second captain to strike as Moreno made it two in a row for the only WorldTour team in the race, taking his first victory since joining the squad at the start of the year.


After yesterday’s lumpy stage, there was still a chance to change things on the final stage which brought the riders over 121.5km from Bueno to Oviedo. The first half was littered with four category 3 climbs but then things got significantly easier in the second half where the terrain was predominantly flat. However, the sprinters were left disappointed as the stage has a nasty sting in its tail. The category 2 El Violeo (3.6km, 8.2%) summited just 7.3km from the finish and from there it was downhill until the riders got to the flat final 3km.¨


It was again great sunshine when the riders gathered for the start of the short final test and like in the previous stages it was a fast start. Arnau Sole (Burgos) was the first to get a real gap but the Manzana Postobon team quickly chased him down. This allowed Raul Alarcon (W52) to extend his lead in the KOM classification by winning the sprint on the first climb.


At the bottom of the descent, Jorge Cubero (Burgos) tried a solo move but he was brought back and so the attacking continued all the way to the bottom of the second climb. Here Alarcon had to settle for second in the KOM sprint as he was beaten by Sergio Higuita (Manzana).


Caja Rural led the peloton down the descent before the break was finally established. Aitor Gonzalez (Euskadi), Sole, Noel Gil (Spain), and Daniel Gines (D’Amico) took off and were joined by Jacopo Ucha (Radio Popular) and Micael Isidoro (Louletano) at a time when the gap had gone out to 50 seconds.


At the end of the first hour during which 40.8km had been covered, the gap was 1.30 and it reached a maximum of 2.10 before Movistar and W52 started to chase hard. As they hit the Alto Munco for the second time, the escapees were only 30 seconds ahead and when it was down to 10 seconds, Ucha tried a solo move. The Spaniard rode extremely well and while the most of the group was caught, he managed to push his advantage out to 50 seconds at the end of the second hour where he had had an average speed of 39.8km/h.


Sole and Gines tried to get back but were still 45 seconds behind Ucha when he had increased the gap to a minute. They were quickly brought back as Ucha also started to lose ground and he was only 15 seconds ahead when he entered the final 20km.


Caja Rural took control in the peloton and brought Ucha back before they hit the final climb. However, it was Movistar that led the group onto the climb where they created a huge selection before they sent Juan Jose Lobato off in an attack. However, it was race leader Hugh Carthy who created the key selection as he accelerated with 10km to go and only his teammate Sergio Pardilla, Moreno and Federico Figueiredo (Radio Popular) could go with him.


The quartet crested the summit with a solid advantage and had opened a 20-second gap to Antonio Carvalho (W52), Garikoitz Bravo, Mikel Bizkarra (Euskadi), David Rodrigues (Radio Popular) and Heiner Parra (Boyaca) as they entered the final 5km. Figueiredo could not keep up with them on the descent and so it was a trio that got to the final 3km with an advantage of 18 seconds.


It was evident that the trio would decide the win and even though he was up against two teammates, Moreno proved that he was much faster than the two pure climbers. The Spaniard easily beat Pardilla in the final dash to the line, with Carthy rolling to the finish a few seconds later. Carvalho won the sprint for fourth.


Third place was enough for Carthy to win the race overall in a 1-2 for Caja Rural as Pardilla was second. Bravo completed the podium. Moreno won the points competition, Alarcon was the best climber, Diego Milan (Inteja) won the sprints classification and Gonzalo Andres (Spain) was the best local rider. Caja Rural won the teams classification.


With the Vuelta Asturias done and dusted, the next major event in Spain is another short stage race as the Vuelta Comunidad de la Madrid will be held over two days next weekend.



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