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"Colbrelli already took 10" seconds winning yesterday, these two stages aren't bad for him and he might be the biggest rival, but we mustn't think about defending. Instead, we have to attack and give our best.”

Photo: Movistar






19.08.2015 @ 22:59 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Accustomed to often showing his world-class abilities in the heat of August, Jesús Herrada climbed into the GC lead in the Tour du Limousin after a well-timed attack on the final slope of the hardest stage in the French event, a 1.6km ascent with gradients exceeding 15%, which put an end to a 188km journey with three other rated ascents.


The squad directed by José Luis Laguía tried to go on the attack before Herrada's decisive acceleration, as Rubén Fernández jumped on the Côte de Chaleil (Cat-2), 15km away from the line, together with Chirico (BAR) and Delaplace (BSE). The three were soon caught by a bunch of about 60 riders, which covered the last uphill as a block until the move by Herrada opened a gap no one could fight to bring back. The peloton, 10" back, was led home by Davide Rebellin (CCC).


"We had to sacrifice Eros Capecchi pushing at the front yesterday," explained Laguía after the stage, "so as to avoid the break going too far away and jeopardize our GC chances - with so many Continental teams, the racing is crazier and usually there's less strength to control, as we saw previously here. We knew that today's stage would be the best to take our chances. We attacked with Rubén, trying not to let the field ride easily and making things harder after a pretty easy day. He even rode solo until he was caught on the foot of the last climb - he really proved to be strong today, as he finished 6th in the sprint - and we hoped for Jesús's chances in the finale, which he profited from with great class."


Herrada's victory, the 7th in his professional career and the Movistar Team's 29th so far this season, also awards him a signfiicant advantage in the GC after taking 10" across the line, which broke the tie with former leader Sonny Colbrelli (BAR). He will fight to stay in yellow alongside a powerful telephone squad - with four of the Blues in the main peloton today - until Friday, with stage three on Thursday bringing again lumpy roads on the way to Aigurande (185.9km.)


“It certainly looks like these races in France suit me well,” smiled Herrada when remembering his two consecutive victories in Poitou-Charentes in 2013 & 2014, the four-day event being raced next week. “I had checked the finale on the Internet and knew that the hardest slopes of the climb were at the beginning and it eased with 300m to go. I think I jumped 1.2km from the line, surely before the 'flamme rouge'; I was a bit worried, because a rider from Topsport Vlaanderen had jumped shortly before I did, and I didn't see him being caught because the roads were narrow. When I was riding away alone, I had some doubts, where is he? I couldn't see him. That's why I didn't raise my arms when crossing the line.


"I attacked in the last kilometer, but I did not celebrate what I thought was second place. I was surprised to see everyone come to me after the line and then I realized that I was the winner. The surprise was nice.


"This is my second victory of the year, after a stage in the Vuelta a Asturias. The races in France have always been good for meme (winner of the last stage of the Tour Poitou-Charentes for the past two years, ed). I am very happy. 


"Today's stage was the most difficult of the Tour du Limousin, with climbs and constant ups and down. The team of Davide Rebellin worked. I let them do their job and then I attacked at the top of the final climb because I knew that it was easier there.


"Ever since the end of the Giro, in Baku and in the Nationals, Ordizia, Burgos I was always in front, doing well, and I hope to keep the pace until the end of the season, starting with keeping this jersey until Friday. It's harder to control the race in Limousin with these lumpy roads, up and down all day, and it'll be difficult for us to keep it, but we have some strong riders here. Bonus seconds might play a decisive role in case that we get sprint finishes. Colbrelli already took 10" seconds winning yesterday, these two stages aren't bad for him and he might be the biggest rival, but we mustn't think about defending. Instead, we have to attack and give our best.


"The goal was to take the yellow jersey today, now he'll have to keep it until we get to Limoges. I hope these few seconds will be sufficient. The team is very strong, so I am quite optimistic although many other riders are threatening."



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