Vuelta a Burgos: Breschel nets stage three, first win in two years
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Friday, August 3, 2012

Vuelta a Burgos: Breschel nets stage three, first win in two years

by Kyle Moore at 3:54 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
Dane gets first victory with Rabobank, Moreno continues in leader’s jersey

Matti BreschelMatti Breschel (Rabobank) sprinted to his first win since joining the Dutch squad at the beginning of 2011, earning his first victory since a win in the Tour of Denmark in 2010, when he was with Saxo Bank. The Dane, in the midst of a bounce-back season, dashed to victory in the Vuelta a Burgos stage three, ahead of Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ-BigMat) and Ben Swift (Sky Procycling). Dani Moreno retains his overall lead.

It may have been Bouhanni and Swift who came in with the biggest profiles as sprinters, but it was Breschel who cranked it up on Friday, having already been there or thereabouts on the first two stages.

While battling injury for most of 2011, the best Breschel was able to put up in his debut season with Rabobank was a couple of runner-up finishes in his home Tour of Denmark. He dropped out of the Vuelta a España on stage six and did not race again that season.

He picked up stronger this season, grabbing two top five finishes in the Vuelta ao Algarve to start the year. The former Dwars door Vlaanderen champion made a comeback of sorts in the Spring Classics as well, picking up a podium place with third in Gent-Wevelgem, as well as a ninth place in the Tour of Flanders.

But the Dane had to wait until August to celebrate a victory, on a deceivingly difficult course in northern Spain, which could raise his prospects as a possible top finisher in the world championships next month.

With other teams willing to do the work to turn Burgos’ flattest stage into a sprint, Rabobank sat back until there were two kilometres to race. In an uphill and technical final kilometre, the Dutch team set up Breschel perfectly. He went from a ways out but negotiated a final bend well to hold off Bouhanni and Swift.

Sensing his good form, Rabobank had been working for Breschel in the first three Burgos stage finales, according to team director Erik Dekker.

“We knew that the odds were good for Matti on this course,” Dekker said. “The run up in the last few hundred metres was difficult. It was harder than the race book made it look. There was talk of a two-percent slope, but as we found out for ourselves this morning, it was a steep six percent.

“Matti said he was ready. We knew exactly what was coming and he kept good control. The last corner was not a 90-degree bend, so Matti could be led through and then it was actually easy. It’s a beautiful victory, his first with us and his first in two years. He yearned to do well here and he regretted that on Wednesday and yesterday we were not successful. But now the spell is broken. Saturday is a similar stage and we will go all out for him.”

With a longer stage of 159km on tap, stage three saw a breakaway get a solid chunk of time, as David Lopez (Movistar), Alessandro Donati (Acqua & Sapone), and Jose Vincente Toribio (Andalucia) got a maximum advantage of over five minutes.

Katusha worked off and on in the peloton until FDJ-BigMat began helping with 35km to go. In the escape, Lopez accelerated on the second of two ascents of the Alto del Majadal, 30km from the finish.

Paul Martens (Rabobank) and Mikel Bizkarra (Orbea) made a brief move out of the peloton, while ahead, Lopez eased up again when the road smoothed out, deciding against a 30km solo move. Under the 20km banner, Sky Procycling went to work and the gap to the escape tumbled. Ian Stannard (Sky Procycling) was again a big engine for the British squad, until Orica-GreenEdge added to the pace with 10km left.

The sprinter’s teams pulled in the trio of escapees, and it was Breschel who surprised the younger fast men.

Vuelta a Burgos Stage Three (159km):

1, Matti Breschel (Rabobank) 3h52’35”
2, Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ-BigMat)
3, Ben Swift (Sky Procycling)
4, Allan Davis (Orica-GreenEdge)
5, Daniele Ratto (Liquigas-Cannondale)
6, Jon Aberasturi (Orbea)
7, Yukihiro Doi (Argos-Shimano)
8, Jérémie Galland (Saur-Sojasun)
9, Giovanni Visconti (Movistar)
10, Stefano Garzelli (Acqua & Sapone)

Vuelta a Burgos General Classification:

1, Dani Moreno (Katusha) 10h05’14”
2, Sergio Luis Henao (Sky Procycling) at 2 secs
3, Matti Breschel (Rabobank) at 9 secs
4, Giovanni Visconti (Movistar) at 11 secs
5, Stefano Garzelli (Acqua & Sapone) at 11 secs
6, Johan Esteban Chaves (Colombia-Coldeportes) at 11 secs
7, Gorka Verdugo (Euskaltel-Euskadi) at 15 secs
8, Daniele Ratto (Liquigas-Cannondale) at 15 secs
9, Javier Moreno (Movistar) at 15 secs
10, Rigoberto Uran (Sky Procycling) at 15 secs


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