Ruta del Sol Heads To Hazallanas

Embedded image permalink... the first serious climb in this eraly season. Yesterday it was for sprinter - and Lobato won - today it's for climbers. There is a nine riders break-away including Bazzana, Bilbao, De Maar, Geschke, Jacobs, Riblon, Roy, Saramotins and Szmyd. 
Break over, Alberto Contador goes solo on the climb. 6 km to go and Peter Kennaugh is chasing, Chris Froome follows, then  attacks. Less than 3.5 km to go and Contador is still leading solo on Froome following at 26".
Embedded image permalinkResidual snow on the mountains and beside the narrow steep road, nacked trees. Froome sees he can't win today but he doesn't give up. Head down on his steam he keeps pushing and devouring seconds. A gap will be there but how big is on Froome and he knows. 
Contador shots on the line his pistolero's gun but Froome is only 18'' behinde. Huge win, huge work.

Alberto Contador:
“I’m very glad for this victory especially because it came in place after such a big effort from all of my teammates. Every single guy on the team did an incredible job in controlling the race and setting up my final attack. They kept a consistently high pace throughout the stage, which cost a lot of energy for my rivals.
After the short descent halfway up the final climb, I saw that Paulinho had stretched the peloton and Basso then created a gap by pulling hard. So I decided to go early, accelerate and go alone. I knew it would be difficult to catch me, I felt good and I wanted to repay my teammates with a win”.

Chris Froome:
“I’m really happy with how it went. Obviously it’s hard getting beaten and hard coming second to Alberto. I know for the work I’ve done coming in I’m really happy that I was up there today. All the hard training this winter is paying off now.
My objective is to be really good later on in the season, building towards the Tour in the next few months. Alberto’s race programme is ahead of mine with the Giro set to be his first big target of the year. I’m really happy with where I’m at right now. There’s a lot of headway to make but there’s plenty more to come, and this is a great place for me to begin the season.
The legs feel good. I haven’t done much intensity training but I’ve set up a really good foundation and I think riding like this is proof of that.
The team did a superb job today keeping me out of trouble. We’ve got a lot of strength in depth and the GC has spoken for itself in the race. We had four riders in the top 10 coming into this stage. Everyone is eager to do well and everyone is hungry.

Wilco Keldeman:
“I’m very pleased with how the team and I are doing so far. The morale in the team is high, and you could see that again today. My team-mates dropped me off perfectly at the front ahead of the final climb. It wasn’t very exciting. The race exploded with seven kilometres to go, when it started to get really steep. Everyone decided to keep his own pace. Normally, a steep climb isn’t really my thing, but today it went quite well.
I hope to get involved at the front again. I’m not a factor in the overall anymore, but I’ll give what I have in order to get a good result on the stage.”


1 Juan Jose Lobato (Esp) Movistar Team 4:51:57
2 John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin
3 Grega Bole (Cze) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
GC after stage 3
1 Alberto Contador Velasco (Esp) Tinkoff - Saxo 8:03:40
2 Benat Intxausti Elorriagai (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:01
3 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:08
4 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) IAM Cycling
5 Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:12
1 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo
2 Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky
3 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
4 Beñat Intxausti (Spa) Movistar
5 Mikel Nieve (Spa) Team Sky
6 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
7 Merhawi Kudus (Eri) MTN-Qhubeka
8 Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Team Sky
9 Sebastian Reichenbach (Sui) IAM Cycling
10 Sergio Pardilla (Spa) Caja Rural - Seguros RGA
1 Contador
2 Froome +27
3 Intxaust +1.59
4 Bardet +2.13
5 Kennaugh +2.28

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