Rabobank's Freire wins again in Andalucía
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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Rabobank's Freire wins again in Andalucía

by Bjorn Haake at 11:15 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results

Oscar Freire won for the second time in two days when he raced to victory in stage three of the Vuelta a Andalucía today. The Spaniard beat Lampre's Grega Bole and Sky's Simon Gerrans to the line. Mark Cavendish, who had a delayed season start due to a severe tooth problem, was dropped on the final climb.

The last 800m provided an incline and proved good for Freire, who brought his season balance to three wins in six races. The final climb tore the peloton apart, with Cavendish left in the second group. Race leader Sergio Pardilla managed to stay in touch and is still nine seconds ahead of Jurgen Van den Broeck.

Bole wasn't Lampre's guy to go to, accoding to sports director Brent Copeland. "In our plan Lorenzetto should have been our main man, but the stage was very tough and Mirco didn't have much left for the sprint. Then Bole surprised us with an outstanding performance that put him into second: it's a pity that he started the sprint from so far back." Bole was around 20th place when the final 300m with a gradient of six percent started.

Climbs hurt some sprinters

The race had five climbs and the first two were located within the first 11 kilometers. That made for a rapid start, with the first break building on the Alto de las Nieves (José Ángel Gómez Marchante and Brice Feillu). They worked well together and after the descent of the second climb, the Puerto de Ojen, the gap was almost two minutes.

The advantage of the two toped out at 4'10 after 50 kilometers, Feillu was the virtual leader at this point, being 2'33 back in the overall. The two then dangled in front of the peloton always about two to three minutes ahead.

On the final climb, another storm up the Puerto de Ojen, the bunch finally reduced the gap to just over a minute, with less than 40km remaining. At km 138, Gómez Marchante and Feillu were caught by the Milram- and Carmiooro-NGC-led peloton. Columbia was not chasing, as it had lost it star sprinter Cavendish on the climb. Rabobank also came to the front, for good reason.

Tomorrow's stage is an individual time trial over ten kilometers in the streets of Málaga.

Results stage three

1. Oscar Freire (Rabobank) 4h33'36
2. Grega Bole (Lampre)
3. Simon Gerrans (Sky)
4. Fabian Wegmann (Milram)
5. Angel Vicioso (Andalucía-CajaSur)
6. Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank)
7. Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil)
8. Paul Martens (Rabobank)
9. Maxime Monfort (Columbia)
10. Markus Fothen (Milram)
11. Manuel Ortega (Andalucía-CajaSur)
12. Michael Rogers (Columbia-HTC)
13. Jurgen Van den Broeck (Omega Pharma-Lotto)
14. Frank Schleck (Saxo Bank)
15. Gustav Larsson (Saxo Bank)

General classification after stage three

1. Sergio Pardilla (Carmiooro-NGC) 13h38'37
2. Jurgen Van den Broeck (Omega Pharma-Lotto) at 0'09
3. Manuel Vázquez (Andalucía-CajaSur) at 0'13


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