Valverde Makes It Three for Three at Burgos Tour
Alejandro Valverde (Comunidad Valenciana) has won his third consecutive stage of the Vuelta a Burgos.
Alejandro Valverde (Comunidad Valenciana) has won his third consecutive stage of the Vuelta a Burgos. The Spaniard pipped Denis Menchov (Illes Balears), with Leonardo Piepoli (Saunier Duval) finishing third at 0:03. Valverde remains the overall leader.
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The racing began early. At 19 km, Josef Jufre (Relax), Koldo Gil (Liberty Seguros), Vicente Garcia Acosta (Illes Balears), and Jon Del Rio (Paternina) attacked on the Category 3 Alto de Cargadero, and Constantino Zaballa (Saunier Duval), Stefano Garzelli (Vini Caldirola), and David Latasa (Comunidad Valenciana) joined them. When the septet breasted the Category 1 Alto del Collado at 56 km, it led the field by 3:10.
By 75 km, the fugitives led by 3:50. The bunch began to chase, and the escapees? lead dropped. At 110 km, Jufre and Del Rio dropped their companions. During the next few km, the peloton caught the remains of the break. At the base of the finishing climb, the bell tolled for Jufre and Del Rio. The real race was on.
Joaquim Rodriguez (Saunier Duval) attacked and created a small lead. Javier Pascual Rodriguez (Comunidad Valenciana) led Valverde to the Saunier Duval rider. Juan Carlos Dominguez, Joaquim Rodriguez?s teammate, countered. The lead group was down to 11 riders.
With three km left, Vladimir Karpets (Illes Balears) slid out of the back. Jonathan Gonzalez (Paternina) and Moises Duenas (Relax) bridged up to Dominguez. Gonzalez dropped Dominguez and Duenas. With two km remaining, Valverde towed Piepoli and Menchov to Gonzalez. The lead group consisted of this foursome and Duenas.
Piepoli accelerated and temporarily dropped Duenas. Just as Duenas got back on, Piepoli attacked again. Valverde and Menchov joined him. Menchov and Piepoli dropped Valverde and led by 0:05 with 500 m left, but Valverde clawed his way into the lead for the win.
In the overall, Valverde leads Menchov by 0:03 and Piepoli by 0:06. The fourth and final stage probably will not change this state of affairs. The 171-km run from Miranda de Ebro to Burgos will feature one Category 2 climb and one Category 3 ascent. Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out how the race ends.
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