Alex Diniz gets Tour de San Luis stage 3, overall lead
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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Alex Diniz gets Tour de San Luis stage 3, overall lead

by Kyle Moore at 9:26 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
Brazilian out-climbs the WorldTour horses with 19km time trial up next

Tour de San LuisAlex Diniz (Funvic Brasilinvest), a little-known Brazilian, broke away to victory on the first summit finish of the Tour de San Luis on Wednesday, taking stage three and the overall lead heading into Thursday’s 19km time trial. Mauro Santombrogio (Vini Fantini) was second, 24 seconds behind.

The number of WorldTour riders able to climb the final ascent, the Mirador del Potrero, within sight of Diniz were few in number, although several noted time trialists are within shouting distance of Diniz with still the race against the clock, and two more mountainous stages yet to come.

Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) was third on the stage to the Mirador del Potrero, while Lotto-Belisol team-mates Bart de Clercq and Jurgen van den Broeck were fourth and sixth, respectively, split in fifth place by Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing).

But it was the biggest names at the Tour de San Luis who were put into pain on the final climb, as Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff), Vincenzo Nibali (Cannondale Pro Cycling), and Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) all lost significant time, with Rodriguez worst off, crossing over seven minutes behind Diniz.

With two sprint stages already in the books in Argentina, the climbers got to play for the first time on stage three. Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Ben Gastauer (Ag2R-La Mondiale), Leandro Messineo (San Luis Somos Todos), Flavio De Luna (Mexico), Jorge Giacinti (San Luis Somos Todos) and Eloy Teruel (Movistar) formed an early escape and took a maximum lead of seven minutes on the 173km stage.

The biggest climb of the day came halfway through the stage, and it was Giacinti who got over the top of the Alto de Nogolí first, before a long dive back into the valley leading to the Potrero. It was during this 40km stretch that the break eventually lost its steam and was pulled back by a shrunken peloton. With 8km to the top, Diniz attacked from the bottom of the Potrero, and though the teams of van Garderen, Contador, and Nibali worked to keep the Brazilian close, their leaders found the season too new to withstand Diniz – on his second chance in the sport after serving a two-year ban for an EPO positive in 2009.

The Brazilian celebrated his biggest career win, as the rest of the cycling world hears a new name and hopes the rider capitalizes on the victory – and the second chance.

Reactions were largely positive from the WorldTour riders still in with the best chance at dethroning Diniz for the overall victory.

Kwiatkowski (currently 3rd overall): “Everyone from the team helped me from the beginning. After the first climb, it was just Chavanel and [Pieter] Serry in the front, so they cared for me and supported me to the finish of the race. On the last climb I was trying to go with my tempo. ‘Chava’ was the lead-out for me a little bit with three kilometres to go. I started to ride my own speed and I was able to keep my speed until the finish. I was just trying to do the best I can, you know.

“With this condition right now I am really looking forward to the GC and tomorrow's time trial. It's my strong point, the TT. I will try my best and hope I can take the leader's jersey tomorrow. As for today, I want to say thank you to my team for believing in me, and believing that I can get good results.”

van Garderen (currently 6th overall): “My goal was to stay with the leaders, so I can get them tomorrow in the time trial. I tried to attack in the last kilometre, but that failed. Eventually I was just happy that I could stay in the group.”

Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida; currently 10th overall): “Diniz attacked in the very early meters of the climb and the battle began. The approach to the climb had been very demanding, but I was relying on key support from Filippo Pozzato, Adriano Malori, and Davide Viganò, then I found my rhythm [on the climb] with help from Kristijan Durasek. In the final hundred meters I lost some seconds, but I’m quite satisfied, plus I got some good feedback from my new Merida bike in its first test on a mountain stage.”

Tour de San Luis Stage 3 Brief Results:

1, Alex Diniz (Funvic Brasilinvest) in 4:29:36
2, Mauro Santambrogio (Vini Fantini) at 24 secs
3, Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) at s.t.
4, Bart De Clercq (Lotto-Belisol) at 25 secs
5, Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) at s.t.
6, Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol) at s.t.
7, Ricardo Diaz (San Luis Somos Todos) at 29 secs
8, Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) at 34 secs
9, Miguel Angel Rubiano (Androni Giocattoli) at s.t.
10, Andre Cardoso (Caja Rural) at s.t.

General Classification after Stage 3:

1, Alex Diniz (Funvic Brasilinvest) in 12:07:48
2, Mauro Santambrogio (Vini Fantini) at 24 secs
3, Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) at s.t.
4, Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol) at 25 secs
5, Bart De Clercq (Lotto-Belisol) at s.t.
6, Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) at s.t.
7, Ricardo Diaz (San Luis Somos Todos) at 29 secs
8, Miguel Angel Rubiano (Androni Giocattoli) at 34 secs
9, Andre Cardoso (Caja Rural) at s.t.
10, Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) at s.t.


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