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Yates takes an impressive second victory in three-days with a solo win on the final day at Vuelta Asturias – Team BikeExchange Jayco

Stage one winner Simon Yates has taken a second victory at the three-day Vuelta Asturias, attacking on today’s final climb and riding away solo, to snatch another spectacular win as part of the ‘Final Touches‘ to his Giro d’Italia preparations.
 
After bringing back a breakaway of four riders ahead of the final climb, Team BikeExchange-Jayco continued to set a fierce tempo at the head of the peloton, leading into ‘Violeo,’ a short 3.1km climb with sections as steep as 20% and an average gradient of 9.2%.

Australian powerhouse Callum Scotson then launched an attack on the bottom slopes of the climb which Yates used as a launch pad, jumping across to his teammate before darting away again, with just one rider able to hold on his wheel initially. 

As the road continued to head north, Yates pressed on the pedals once again, riding away from his rivals to crest the top of the climb and barrel down a technical descent alone, and towards the finish line with a healthy advantage.
 
The 29-year-old maintained his lead over a small group of chasers on the flat road to the finishing town of Oviedo, crossing the line with a 37 second gap to take his second victory of the race. The success brings both Yates and the Australian outfit confidence ahead of the upcoming Giro d’Italia, starting on Friday, 6th May.
 
Simon Yates – 1st place
“It was a good race today in the end. I had a little bit of a bad day yesterday, just with the heat. It was the first really hot race that I had done all year but today I bounced back very well, the legs felt good and the team rode really well again.

They controlled all day, set me up well for the final attack on the last climb, so it all went to plan and now we are looking forward to the Giro, which starts already in five days.”

Matt White – Head Sport Director
“Today was a short, intense and relatively flat day. We had a really crucial and very, very tough climb to the finish. As we have been for the last couple of days, we continued our process of preparing for the Giro, we controlled the day and brought the break back and the boys put Simon in a very good position at the bottom of the climb.
 
Callum Scotson slipped away on the bottom slopes of the climb and Simon went across to him. He rode a tempo that nobody could follow, then he was in the safest place to be, ahead solo, on a very tricky descent where there was a crash in the main group behind. 

Simon was too strong, and it was a good comeback after yesterday. We know the reason why Simon suffered yesterday. Traditionally he suffers with the first shock of high temperatures and humidity in the season, and we have now got that out of the way with two hot days here. 

We walk away with two wins from this race, the team is in a really good place, and we built some really good cohesiveness. Now it’s legs up, recover and focus on getting across to Budapest to start the Giro d’Italia next week.”

2022 Vuelta Asturias stage 3 results:
1. Simon Yates 2:47:08
2. Vincenzo Albanese +0:37
3. Kevin Vauquelin +0:37

Final General Classification:
1. Ivan Sosa 
2. Lorenzo Fortunato +0:15
3. Nicolas Edet +0:44
14. Simon Yates
 
Photo: Gomez Sport 

— Team BikeExchange to www.greenedgecycling.com

Yates makes his mark with a spectacular solo victory on the opening stage of Vuelta Asturias – Team BikeExchange Jayco

Simon Yates has started as he means to go on, taking a spectacular solo victory on the opening stage of the three-day Vuelta Asturias. The 29-year-old headed to the race, using it as the final touches to his preparations for the Giro d’Italia starting next week, and today demonstrated top form by riding away from his rivals in the final and to his second victory of the season.
 
Confident in his ability, Team BikeExchange-Jayco allowed an early breakaway group of five riders to gain momentum and ride out to a maximum advantage of just under 10 minutes, during the 170km hilly stage from Oviedo to Pola de Lena.

The squad then took up position at the head of the peloton for the majority of the stage, keeping the breakaway in check, before picking up the pace inside the final 50km and eventually making the catch with 35km to go as the race headed into the more selective, hilly section.
 
Working to neutralise any further breakaway attempts, the Australian outfit stayed attentive while also keeping team leader Yates well protected. Damien Howson then made a tactful acceleration at the base of the final climb and opened up a gap with Ivan Sosa which set up Yates perfectly, putting pressure on the remains of the peloton and allowing the Brit to launch his damaging attack around one kilometre from the summit of the final climb. 
 
Yates successfully powered away from his opponents and maintained his advantage on the predominantly flat run-in to the finish line, to take the win by 14 seconds, and in doing so, took the overall lead of the race.
 
Simon Yates – 1st place:
“First of all, I have to thank all of my teammates for the great work they have done all day long. In the finale, we kept the pace high to avoid some attacks and be in the top positions at the start of the last climb. Damien Howson made a move, got a gap and then I attacked over the top. 

The sensations are good, and the legs responded very well. Tomorrow is the Queen stage, and it would be nice to be able to win again, also because my goal remains to win the overall.”

Matt White – Head Sport Director:
“It took 20 or 30km for the breakaway to get away, then we took control for most of the stage. When we got to the more selective part of the race, the last 35km, Movistar pushed the pace and then we carried it on especially with Callum Scotson. Callum did an incredible 15km and by the time he finished, the bunch was only around 15 or 20 riders left on the penultimate climb. 

Then going into the bottom of the last climb, Damien Howson attacked so that allowed Simon to come from behind. Damien got out there with Sosa, Simon jumped across to them and then continued again on his own.
 
It was nice work by the team and a nice exhibition by Simon who went only in the last kilometre of the last climb with around 5 or 6km from the finish line. He won solo by 14 seconds which gives us a nice buffer with the bonus seconds going into the next two days.”
 
2022 Vuelta a Asturias stage 1 results:
1. Simon Yates 4:26:44
2. Vincenzo Albanese +0:14
3. Alexis Vullermoz +0:14
 
General Classification after stage 1:
1. Simon Yates 4:26:34
2. Vincenzo Albanese +0:18
3. Alexis Vullermoz +0:20

Photo: Photo Gomez

— Team BikeExchange to www.greenedgecycling.com

Alexey Lutsenko takes a solo win at Clásica Jaén Paraíso Interior – Astana

Alexey Lutsenko takes a solo win at Clásica Jaén Paraíso Interior

Kazakh rider Alexey Lutsenko won the inaugurate one-day Spanish race Clásica Jaén Paraíso Interior, held today between Baeza and Úbeda, two cities of the UNESCO World Heritage.

Lutsenko attacked solo on the final part of 188-km-long distance, first time with some 50 km to go and again with around 28 km to go. His second attack became a decisive one, which, finally, brought him a stylish solo victory on the streets of Úbeda.

“I am really happy to take this win in my first race of the season. Together with the team I spent two good weeks at the altitude training camp in Teide and today I felt ready and motivated to try something. Last year I already won a gravel race – Serenissima Gravel, so I knew what to expect. The race turned out to be a hard one with a lot of climbs and gravel sectors. But the team helped me to save some energy for the decisive part and then I just did my best in attacks. I knew that Tim Wellens can be a real favorite in this kind of races, so my plan was to attack earlier and to try to go solo and it worked out perfectly. Well, it is a very nice feeling to win in the first race of the season! Now I am looking forward to the next race – Vuelta a Andalucia”, – said Alexey Lutsenko.

The race turned out to be a tough challenge for all riders since it included seven gravel sectors and many short but super steep climbs. There were many crashes on the gravel and, unfortunately, Astana Qazaqstan Team riders were also involved: Davide Martinelli and Dmitriy Gruzdev both crashed hardly but, fortunately, did not get any serious injury. Also, Yuriy Natarov and Nurbergen Nurlykhassym both got a flat tire in the first gravel sectors.

Closer to the final part Yevgeniy Fedorov, Dmitriy Gruzdev and Miguel Angel Lopez helped Alexey Lutsenko to get a good position, so the team leader launched his attack to make a huge selection in the group and then to go away solo for the race victory.

“Having a rider like Alexey Lutsenko in the race you can always expect something nice from him. We were ready to support Alexey, while he showed a phenomenal form at the start of the season and spent this day in a style! It was a tough and very demanding race, and I am happy with the way Alexey attacked today and took this win. It was a beautiful one and a good start of the season for him but also for all our team”, – said Giuseppe Martinelli, Sports Director of Astana Qazaqstan Team.

 

“This is the first win for Kazakh team in 2022 and it is symbolic that this beautiful victory has been brought by our Kazakh rider. I congratulate all our team and Alexey Lutsenko with this great performance! A solid start of the season! Well done!” – said Nurlan Smagulov, president of Kazakhstan Cycling Federation.

Photo credit: @Gettysport

— Vitalii to www.astana-qazaqstan.com

José Pérez Francés sólo hubo uno

José Pérez Francés © Joan Seguidor

Pocos ciclistas dejaron la huella tan profunda de José Pérez Francés

Había un ciclista cántabro, nacido en Peñacastillo, cerca de Santander, cuyo sólo recuerdo empañaba la mirada de Jaime Mír: era José Pérez Francés, un ciclista entre un millón, un huracán en la carretera y fuera de ella, un personaje que daría para novela.

En la historia del ciclismo español, José Pérez-Francés posiblemente no esté en el top 10 estadístico, pero su huella fue profunda, indeleble, tanto que el paso del tiempo no esconde muchas de sus gestas alabadas y actitudes en ocasiones incomprendidas.

Recuerdo cuando el Tour vino a Barcelona y desestimó ir al acto de homenaje al que sí acudieron otros como Bahamontes e Indurain, por que los jolgorios no iban con él.

Él se apostó en la cuenta, vestido de ciclista y vio pasar la caravana aquel día rumbo a Montjuïc, tanto tiempo después de su mítica escapada de Ax-les-Thermes a Barcelona.

Hemos recuperado para la ocasión un extracto de «Secundario de lujo» con la intención de describir un poco quién fue Pérez-Francés, tras hablar con una de las personas que más cercana vivió al astro cántabro incluso cuando éste redujo mucho su círculo de contactos.

Un buen día el periodista de El Mundo Deportivo Ramón Torres recibió en la redacción una llamada desde Canals, Valencia. Era Damián Pla, director del Ferrys. Pla hablaba y Torres tomaba nota. Al día siguiente escribiría íntegra la conversación bajo el título: “A Damián Pla, director de los Ferrys, le interesa establecer contacto con Mir Taxi Key”. “Llamada de Canals y don Damián Pla, director del Ferrys al habla. Me interesa el domicilio de Mir Taxi Key, el hombre que fue chófer y animador de los Kas en 1962 y los Turbo en la Vuelta a Cataluña”.

Artículo completo en El Cuaderno de Joan Seguidor

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