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We have to see how the last stage pans out to see if we can defend the lead but I will certainly try. We have three options: me, Andre and Amets. We will help each other throughout the day and I will try to do my best," Lasca says

Photo: Sirotti






13.04.2013 @ 20:31 Posted by Jesper Johannesen

With his second consecutive 2nd place finish, Francesco Lasca (Caja Rural) took over the leader's jersey in the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon after today's 2nd stage. Tomorrow the race enters the mountains in the final and decisive stage but the sprinter won't give up the lead without putting up a fight.


It has been a highly frustrating two days for the Italian sprinter Francesco Lasca. Having been beaten by Pablo Urtasun (Euskaltel) in yesterday's rising finish, he was outkicked by Urtasun's teammate Juan Jose Lobato in today's more traditional bunch sprint.


Two near-misses did not please the Caja Rural sprinter but his consistency did give him some kind of consolation as he took over the leader's jersey.


"I knew the final because Jaime (sports director Jaime Garzon, ed.) had showed be a video to prepare the race," he explained. "There were many curves and unfortunately it was not to be. Lobato took my wheel. There was not a long stretch from the final corner to the finish line but he was able to pass me. It is shame but we got the overall lead which is some kind of reward for the perfect work from my team. I could not win. It was Lobato's day."


Will try to keep the lead

Tomorrow the race enters the mountains and the finish line is located at the top of a 2km climb with an average gradient of 7%. The team had entered the race with Andre Cardoso and Amets Txurruka as the main GC options but even though the finish should on paper be too much for the fast Italian, he will try to join his two teammates at the head of the race.


"I am satisfied," he said. "I wanted the win but we were close. We have to see how the last stage pans out to see if we can defend the lead but I will certainly try. We have three options: me, Andre and Amets. We will help each other throughout the day and I will try to do my best."


Won't carry the responsibility

With Movistar and Euskaltel both fielding strong squads, the professional continental team will not start tomorrow's stage as favourites. Hence, sports director Jaime Garzon plans to hand over most of the responsibility to the larger teams.


"We always keep trying," he explained. " We have shown that we are here to fight. However, we are not going to go crazy in tomorrow's stage. There are bigger favourites than us. They have raced the last two days with a focus on the GC and are the biggest favourites. Now they have to prove it and carry the responsibility of the race but we will not give up and have to see how the race develops. It is a hard stage so we will look at our options with respect to both the stage win and the GC, see how it goes and on that basis we will make our decisions."


Txurruka and Cardoso optimistic

The two GC leaders Amets Txurruka and Andre Cardoso were happy that the success of Lasca had taken away some of the pressure ahead of the biggest challenge.


"The team has done a great job and we hope to continue in this way," Txurruka said. "It is a place to get second twice but the important thing is to be comptetitive. Lasca is now the leader and Andre and I are both well placed in the GC. The final stage will be difficult but we will try again."


"It has been a very nervous day with good work from the team," Cardoso added. "Another second place is a pity but we have the leader's jersey and can expect beautiful things in the future. We have our options and we will try to advantage of them."


Lasca is two seconds ahead of Lobato and Urtasun while Cardoso and Txurruka follow a further 10 seconds behind in a large group containing most of the pre-race favourites.



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