Michel Ries, in the leading group of the Asturian roads after the demanding Carabanzo
62nd Vuelta Ciclista a Asturias
Stage 1: Oviedo – Pola de Lena (179 km)
The second pass through Alto de Carabanzo emerged as the key moment of the inaugural stage of a new edition of the Vuelta a Asturias and on its ramps, those more than two thousand metres with an average slope of around 10%, the colours of the Kometa Cycling Team emerged at the front of the pack. Mikel Landa (Movistar) began to set the pace and Stefano Oldani welded to his wheel. Vibrant minutes of the Italian fighting his options to dispute the victory.
The Lombard, who was doing very well in front of the previous climb, gave up a few metres in the last moments of the climb. And a frenetic descent, again spurred on by Movistar through Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz, conditioned the regrouping, which was minimal compared to other occasions. “It’s been very, very hard for me. Landa has been very strong. It might have been more prudent to start climbing a little further back,” says ‘Olda’.
Only thirthy riders played the victory in Pola de Lena, a score among which was the advantage of the Kometa Cycling to make a good overall classification: the Luxembourger Michel Ries, the victory and consequent first blue jersey leader went to the bag of Colombian Carlos Julian Quintero (Postobón Apple). Ries finished twenty-fourth, with the same time as the winner. Oldani entered the finish line in the 29th position, 34 seconds behind. The 39th finished Isaac Canton, at 39 seconds.
Until that capital ascent to Carabanzo, with an escape of two runners opening the race from the first third of the day to the first ramps of the same with a maximum income of five minutes (Czech Daniel Turek, Israel; Paco Mancebo, Matrix), the guys of the continental formation of the Alberto Contador Foundation turned to roll very together, protecting their leader and beginning to look within the last twenty kilometers for the front of a platoon where Movistar always carried the weight.
This Saturday the race faces its second stage, 171 kilometers between Soto de Ribera and Cangas del Narcea that will be fundamental for the general of the race. A queen stage that presents three climbs for the mountain Grand Prix, although it will be the Sanctuary of Acebo, the last of them, and with its summit 19 kilometers from a goal that will be preceded by a complicated descent, the most resolute.
“I’ve seen the team very well. It was a pity that Oldani finally couldn’t make it in that little group to fight for the final volley, because he is a cyclist with a good speed tip. We hope to be protagonists in the next stages”, said Alberto Contador during the post-race awards ceremony, questioned by the speaker Juanmari Guajardo. Contador is located in Asturias, where this Friday he was going to receive the Gold Badge of the Vuelta Ciclista a Asturias in the Trascorrales square in Oviedo.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)