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"This gives a little encouragement for the Giro. We've worked hard to get into good condition and I hope to do well there."

Photo: Movistar






03.05.2015 @ 22:29 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Jesus Herrada and Igor Anton completed an excellent day for the Movistar team in the Vuelta a Asturias when Herrada won the stage and Anton took the overall victory. After a big solo attack by Anton, the pair arrived at the finish as part of a 6-rider group that also included their teammates Ion Izagirre and Ruben Fernandez and while Herrada won the sprint ahead of Amets Txurruka (Caja Rural) and Izagirre, Anton took the overall victory.


Movistar went into the two-day Vuelta Asturias as the only WorldTour team and with a star-studded line-up of climbers, they were expected to dominate the mountainous event. However, few would have expected them to control the race in the way they did in today’s final stage of the race.


Already yesterday, the team had impressed as Igor Anton had taken a solo victory and Jesus Herrada sprinted to the final spot on the podium but today they managed to do even better. Again they took first and third but to make things even better they put no less than four riders in the top 5 and secured the overall victory for Anton.


All day, they worked hard behind a strong breakaway that even seemed to have a chance to make it to the finish when they hit the bottom of the final climb with 10km to go. Francisco Mancebo (Skydive) and Angel Madrazo (Caja Rural) proved to be hard to catch and this made the race hard.


However, Anton had proved that he was the strongest climber in the race and again he confirmed his status when he dropped everybody with a big attack on the steep slopes. He flew past the front duo while the peloton splintered to pieces behind.


Anton crested the summit with 7km to go as the lone leader and entered the final 5km with a 20-second advantage over a three-rider group with Herrada and the Caja Rural duo of Madrazo and Amets Txurruka. Madrazo sacrificed himself completely for his teammate and so got dropped.


However, Movistar really played with the muscles when Ion Izagirre, Ruben Fernandez and Omar Fraile (Caja Rural) made it back to the chasers and so they had three riders in the group that could follow wheels while Anton worked hard to maintain his advantage. The Basque still had a 5-second advantage with 1km to go but a strong turn by Fraile brought him back. Instead, it came down to a sprint and here Herrada lived up to his status as the fastest rider by taking the win, with Txurruka and Izagirre completing the podium.


"The eight of us here went well in all areas and we knew we had to give everything in order to maintain the leadership," Herrada said. "I did not really think we could catch break, but Colombia worked well, Murias also did a bit and we were back together on the final climb. Igor was the strongest to get clear.


"In the end it was just a matter of staying quiet for us. They caught Igor with 500 meters to go and then Ion led me out before I launched my sprint in the final curve. We did well and finished it off smoothly. This gives a little encouragement for the Giro. We've worked hard to get into good condition and I hope to do well there. 


"Asturias will always be a nice place for me as the place where I have achieved my first professional victory and to repeat makes me very happy. This win is dedicated to my mother and my grandfather who died this past week and will be sorely missed."



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