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"This was a chance to win but the result is correct. I am already happy with my condition in this first week. I hope for more in the stages to come."

Photo: Katusha / Tim de Waele

DANIEL MORENO

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JOAQUIM RODRIGUEZ OLIVER

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KATUSHA ALPECIN

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VUELTA A ESPAÑA

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25.08.2015 @ 20:08 Posted by Andy Pedersen

With a small kicker climb coming with 4 km to go, all the general classification favorites were poised to strike from the front of the peloton, including riders from Team Katusha. Daniel Moreno sprinted in for the third spot on the podium behind winner Alejandro Valverde, while teammate Joaquim Rodriguez came in for sixth. Both remain in the top ten on the general classification.

 

“The team did good job all day long. In the finale we did a regular climb because of the pulling work of Peter Sagan's team. We managed to stay together but in the sprint I missed just some power to finish the job. This was a chance to win but the result is correct. I am already happy with my condition in this first week. I hope for more in the stages to come,” said third place finisher Dani Moreno.

Joaquim Rodriguez added:

 

“It was one of the easier stages of the Vuelta. It was a flat stage but a pretty climb in the end. Unfortunately that climb was not perfect for me. It was not steep enough and that descent in it broke the rhythm. However, I am on schedule. I really feel good.”

 

BMC’s Samuel Sanchez was a serious threat when he launched a searing attack with 2 km to go, quickly followed by Nicolas Roche of Sky. But Alberto Losada continued to bring them back and it was Valverde who was eventually able to pull off the win ahead of Peter Sagan (Tinkoff Saxo) and Daniel Moreno.

 

“We had two riders for today – Dani for the first part to cover the attacks and moves and then Joaquim for the top. However, they rode the climb so fast. Alberto Losada did a good job setting the tempo, then in the last 500 m both of them were there to sprint. We are happy with the work we did and will look for another chance at victory,” said team director José Azevedo.

 

The long 209,6 km stage began in Estepona and ended in Vejer de la Frontera on the unrated climb. A break of six riders went clear with more than 10 minutes in hand before being brought back at 11 km to go. The narrow roads and technical finish then made for an exciting finish with the GC hopefuls all in the hunt for a stage win. Valverde made it look easy as he came around the final corner to sprint into the finish more than a bike length ahead of stage 3 winner Sagan.

 

For a third day Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge) holds the race lead with a top time of 13:11.31. Five-seconds behind him is Tom Dumoulin (Team Giant-Alpecin) and 12-seconds behind is Nicolas Roche of Sky. Teammates Joaquim Rodriguez and Daniel Moreno are sixth and seventh at 35- and 36-seconds behind leading time.

 

Racing continues on Wednesday with stage 5. At 167,3 km the stage begins in Rota and ends in Alcalá de Guadaíra. It’s a rare day for the true sprinters as the 2015 la Vuelta continues the Spanish tour.

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