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Having controlled the race all day, IAM gave Pelucchi the perfect lead-out in the bunch sprint on the second stage of the Vuelta a Burgos and the Italian took an easy win; Lobato finished 10th and retained his lead

Photo: Sirotti

IAM CYCLING

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JUAN JOSE LOBATO

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MATTEO PELUCCHI

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MOVISTAR TEAM

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THOMAS DAMUSEAU

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VUELTA A BURGOS 

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14.08.2014 @ 17:37 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Matteo Pelucchi (IAM) broke his long drought in today’s flat stage of the Vuelta a Burgos when he finished off a perfect IAM lead-out in impressive fashion. The Italian held off the Giant-Shimano pair of Steven Lammertink and Thomas Damuseau to take his first win since March while Juan Jose Lobato (Movistar) finished 10th and retained his overall lead.

 

When Matteo Pelucchi (IAM) won a stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico, lofty expectations for the fast Italian were created. Since then, however, he has had a hard time living up to those promises and he has failed to take a single win since that glorious day in March.

 

On the day when it was announced that he has earned himself selection for the IAM Vuelta roster, he finally broke his drought when he proved to be in a class of his own in the bunch sprint on the second stage of the Vuelta a Burgos. The Italian was given the perfect lead-out by his IAM teammates and the Giant-Shimano pair of Steven Lammertink and Thomas Damuseau were a very distant second and third respectively.

 

After the hilly first day of the race, the second stage was significantly easier. It brought the riders over 152km from Briviesca to Villadiego and after an early category 2 climb, the rest of the stage was completely flat, meaning that it was a clear opportunity for the sprinters to play their cards.

 

There were lots of attacks when the riders took the start under beautiful sunny condition and so it took some time for the break to be established. When the elastic snapped, 6 riders had taken off as Adrien Niyonshuti (MTN), Javier Aramendia (Caja Rural), KOM leader Mirko Tedeschi (Neri Sottoli), Pablo Torres (Burgos), Jon Larrinaga (Euskadi) and Sergey Pomoshnikov (Rusvelo) strated to build an advantage.

 

At the 8km mark, they were 1.20 ahead and as they started the climb they had extended their advantage to 2.52. Larrinaga briefly lost contact but managed to rejoin the leaders after the top where Tedeschi had beaten Torres, Niyonshuti, Pomoshnikov and Aramendia in the battle for the points.

 

Torres beat Aramendia and Tedeschi in the first intermediate sprint as the riders tried to maximize their gains from being in the break. In the peloton, IAM and Movistar were keeping them on a short leash as Imanol Erviti, Ruben Plaza and Marcel Aregger kept the gap stable between 1.30 and 2.00 for most of the day.

 

With 60km to go, the gap was briefly allowed to grow to more than 2 minutes but when Torres beat Aramendia and Niyonshuti in the second intermediate sprint with 45km to go, the advantage had dropped to 1.08. It was allowed to grow back up to 1.40 but with 25km to go, it was down to less than a minute.

 

This prompted Aramendia to make a solo attack and none of his companions could keep up with him. Niyonshuti immediately dropped back to the peloton while Tedeschi, Larrinaga, Torres and Pomoshnikov fought for a little while but continued to lose ground.

 

In the peloton, IAM and Movistar were still riding hard and they easily caught the chasers. Aramendia briefly managed to extend his lead to almost a minute and managed to win the final intermediate sprint ahead of his teammate Luis Mas and Torres.

 

With 9km to go, it was over for Aramendia as Sylwester Szmyd and Javier Moreno were now setting the pace for Movistar. The Spanish team remained in control until Neri Sottoli took over with 4km to go.

 

Movistar took a short turn on the front but the finale was dominated by Neri Sottoli. They quickly reacted when Ag2r launched a surprise attack and continued to ride on the front until shortly before the flamme rouge.

 

Here IAM took over and from there they had the race firmly in their hands. They led Pelucchi out and he had no trouble taking an easy sprint win.

 

For race leader Juan Jose Lobato, it was a sprint to forget as he could only manage 10th. However, he easily defended his overall lead and goes into the third stage equal on time with Daniel Moreno (Katusha).

 

Tomorrow his time as leader will come to an end though as the third stage is the queen stage. The riders will first tackle 6 climbs before the stage comes to an exciting conclusion with the traditional mountaintop finish on Lagunas De Neila.

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