Vuelta a Burgos: Two in two days for Jens Keukeleire on stage three’s uphill finish
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Friday, August 09, 2013

Vuelta a Burgos: Two in two days for Jens Keukeleire on stage three’s uphill finish

by Ben Atkins at 11:31 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
 
Second place sees Anthony Roux hold on to slim overall lead

jens keukeleireJens Keukeleire (Orica-GreenEdge) took his second win in as many days in the 2013 Vuelta a Burgos, as he took the uphill sprint on stage three, between Villadiego and Ojo Guareña. The Belgian emerged from behind the wheel of race leader Anthony Roux (FDJ.fr), who was being led to the line by his team, with just 150 metres to go and managed to hold off the Frenchman to the line with ease.

Roux crossed the line just behind Keukeleire to take second place, with Daniele Ratto (Cannondale) taking third. Once again, the lack of time bonuses meant that the FDJ.fr rider was to hold on to his slim, two-second lead over stage one winner Simone Ponzi (Astana).

“This second win is really special,” said Keukeleire. “I’ve never won two races in one tour before. To do it now, and to finish off the work the boys did, is just amazing. I’m really happy at the moment. I hope I can keep this form until the end of the season.

“Overall, today was harder than yesterday,” he explained. “There was a lot more up and down the whole day, and the stage was longer. There were several places where the road narrowed, so it was quite important to stay in good position all day. The team did a great job keeping me in the first half of the peloton all day.

“We passed the finish line once, so I had a good look at it,” said Keukeleire. “It was less hard than I had expected. I was pretty confident I could do something. The boys began to ask how I was feeling, and I confirmed I was up for the sprint.”

The 175km day’s breakaway came from Jani Brajkovič (Astana), Amets Txurruka (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Zak Dempster (NetApp-Endura) and Anthony Ravard (AG2R La Mondiale), who escaped at the 18km point of the stage, after a previous breakaway attempt on the early climb to the Alto de Coculina had failed. Jon Larrinaga (Euskadi) tried to join the quartet before they had got too far, but the Basque rider was unable to make contact and was forced to sit up after around 50km.

Over the Alto de la Mota, after 62km, the quartet was 3’23” ahead but, with Txurruka starting the day just 25 seconds behind race leader Roux in 31st place, FDJ.fr would allow the group no more time. The French team pulled the gap down to little more than two minutes in the mid part of the stage, before allowing it to grow to a new high point of 3’24” with 50km to go.

Shortly afterwards Brajkovič attacked the break, with Txurruka fighting his way back up to the Slovenian rider, and the two of then left Dempster and Ravard behind. With 40km to go, the two riders still had 2’48”, but this was steadily whittled down, until they had just 15 seconds left with 15km left. At 13km the duo sat up as Movistar led the peloton past on the approach to the final climb.

A kilometre later Hariz Orbe (Euskadi) attacked, and was joined by Duber Quintero (Colombia), Szmyd (Movistar), Ivan Basso (Cannondale). Several more riders managed to chase across to the new breakaway, including Gorka Verdugo (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Mikael Cherel (AG2R La Mondiale) and Spanish champion Jesus Herrada (Movistar), but the peloton neutralised the move with just over six kilometres to go.

As the bunch absorbed the group, however, Ruben Plaza (Movistar) and Cherel went again, but they were chased down by NetApp-Endura before they could get far. Katusha then began to string out the peloton as it hit the climb to the finish, but it was pressure from AG2R La Mondiale that briefly pulled another group clear.

Into the final kilometre FDJ.fr accelerated en masse, with the bunch strung out behind them on the narrow road. Around the final bend, with 150 metres to go, however, Keukeleire launched his sprint and, although Roux was able to get onto his wheel, he couldn’t come past and the Belgian was able to celebrate his second victory in as many days.

Result stage 3
1. Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-GreenEdge
2. Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ.fr
3. Daniele Ratto (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling
4. Samuel Sánchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
5. Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Katusha Team
6. Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJ.fr
7. Simone Ponzi (Ita) Astana Pro Team
8. Carlos Babero (Spa) Euskadi @ 3s
9. Francesco Failli (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
10. Mikel Landa (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi

Standings after stage 3
1. Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ.fr
2. Simone Ponzi (Ita) Astana Pro Team @ 2s
3. Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Katusha Team
4. Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-GreenEdge @ 3s
5. Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJ.fr @ 7s
6. Samuel Sánchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi @ 10s
7. Mauro Finetto (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
8. Rinaldo Nocentini (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale @ 11s
9. Dario Cataldo (Ita) Sky Procycling
10. Daniele Ratto (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling

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