photo credit @ Tinkoff-Saxo
Alberto Contador claimed stage 3 of this year’s Ruta del Sol in Andalusia today, after a decisive victory over Chris Froome on the day’s final climb to Alto de Hazallanas.
There Spanish rider succeeded in riding clear during the final eight kilometer climb, to finish 19 seconds ahead of Froome.
“It was an important stage and I didn’t want to let it go by without trying to win it,” Contador said after the stage. “We have worked very hard over the winter to make sure we don’t miss out on anything, although there are very good riders in this race.”
Meanwhile, Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale) rounded out the podium in third spot at 1:41 back.
As a result of his second place finish, Froome moved up into the second spot in the overall classification, while Benat Intxausti (Movistar), who finished in fourth today, moved up into third position in the GC.
“I’m really happy with how it went,” Froome said. “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,” he said. “Alberto’s race program 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.”
Stage 3 Results
ESP 1 CONTADOR VELASCO, Alberto (TINKOFF – SAXO) 4:19:16
GBR 2 FROOME, Christopher (SKY) + 19
FRA 3 BARDET, Romain (AG2R LA MONDIALE) + 1:41
ESP 4 INTXAUSTI ELORRIAGA, Benat (MOVISTAR) + 1:58
ESP 5 NIEVE ITURALDE, Mikel (SKY) + 2:01
NED 6 KELDERMAN, Wilco (LOTTO NL – JUMBO) + 2:05
ERI 7 KUDUS GHEBREMEDHIN, Merhawi (MTN – QHUBEKA) + 2:15
GBR 8 KENNAUGH, Peter (SKY) + 2:16
SUI 9 REICHENBACH, Sébastien (IAM CYCLING) + 2:30
ESP 10 PARDILLA BELLON, Sergio (CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA) + 2:42
General Classification after Stage 3
ESP 1 CONTADOR VELASCO, Alberto (TINKOFF – SAXO) 12:22:55
GBR 2 FROOME, Christopher (SKY) + 27
ESP 3 INTXAUSTI ELORRIAGA, Benat (MOVISTAR) + 1:59
FRA 4 BARDET, Romain (AG2R LA MONDIALE) + 2:13
GBR 5 KENNAUGH, Peter (SKY) + 2:28
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