Vuelta a Castilla y León: Francisco Ventoso goes two from two in Salamanca
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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Vuelta a Castilla y León: Francisco Ventoso goes two from two in Salamanca

by Ben Atkins at 11:08 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Castilla y León
Straightforward win for Spanish sprinter, who makes it looke easy

francesco ventosoFrancisco Ventoso (Movistar) won his second successive stage of the Vuelta a Castilla y León between Valladolid and Salamanca, making a 100 percent record for the race so far. The Spanish sprinter beat Portuguese Sergio Ribeiro (Barbot-Efapel) by some distance on the straight, boulevard finish, with Britain’s Russell Downing (Team Sky) taking third after some hard work from his team in the closing stages.

The 213km stage began with an almost immediate attack from Tom Slagter (Rabobank), who tried to get away inside the first kilometre with Javier Ramírez (Andalucía-Caja Granada) and Rubén Martinez (Caja Rural). The three-rider group was not deemed acceptable by the peloton, with many of the smaller, aggressive local teams missing out and so they were recaptured by kilometre three.

Just a few kilometres later, another group tried its luck, consisting of:, José Luis Roldán (Andalucía-Caja Granada), Fabricio Ferrari (Caja Rural), Guillaume Levarlet (Saur-Sojasun), Jacques Janse (Burgos 2016-Castilla y León) and Mauricio Ortega (EPM-UNE). The five riders managed to get 15 seconds clear before they too were retaken by the peloton after just a couple of kilometres.

Finally, after 10km a group of five riders was deemed acceptable and Daniel Sesma (Euskatel-Euskadi), Javier Ramírez, who’d been part of the first attack, Víctor De La Parte (Caja Rural), Beñat Urain (Orbea) and Rubén Jiminez (Burgos 2016-Castilla y León) got away.

Having got clear, the quintet made rapid progress; opening up a gap of 1’45” inside ten kilometres, which continued to widen in the rolling early part of the stage.

After 38km the break’s advantage had stretched to 5’31”, but that was as high as it was to get as the Saxo Bank-SunGard team decided to bring things under control. After 100km, with 133km still to race, the lead had been cut to 3’05”.

After 135km the Euskaltel-Euskadi team moved forward to join Saxo Bank-SunGard and the two teams allowed the five riders ahead to stew at between 2’30” and 3 minutes for several kilometres.

40km later, as the race entered the closing stages, Movistar and Rabobank joined the chase and the peloton began to close the gap once more. With 25km to go, local rider Ramirez was dropped by his four companions, but their days were definitely numbered by now as they were just 1’40” ahead of the now-charging peloton.

With 15km to the gap was down to 46 seconds and, with 10km to go, they were finally caught.

Movistar and Geox-TMC were now to the fore, with several other teams lurking just behind them as they approached the city of Salamanca. As they hit the outskirts of town though, Carlos Verona (Burgos 2016-Castilla y León) and Ivan Parra (EPM-UNE) managed to get a few seconds ahead, but it was quickly neutralised by Movistar in the streets of Salamanca.

With the peloton all together, Team Sky took over at the front en masse, stringing the peloton out as they rode through the wide, straight streets of the city. They threatened to be overhauled by the massing peloton as they turned 360 degrees around a large roundabout, but the British team reasserted itself once the road straightened once more.

Into the final few hundred metres the Sky team appeared to have done a perfect job for Downing but, just as the British sprinter was about to launch his burst for the line, Ventoso flew past him with Ribeiro in his wake.

Such was Ventoso’s pace as he took the lead that he was able to sit up several metres before the line and celebrate his second victory in as many days.

While there are no time bonuses in the race, Ventoso’s second stage win secures his lead in the race’s overall classification.

Result stage 2
1. Francisco Ventoso (Spa) Movistar
2. Sergio Ribeiro (Por) Barbot-Efapel
3. Russell Downing (GBr) Team Sky
4. Aitor Galdos (Spa) Caja Rural
5. Ruben Perez (Spa) Euskaltel-Eukadi
6. Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) Geox-TMC
7. Egoitz Garcia (Spa) Caja Rural
8. Pablo Lastras (Spa) Movistar
9. Jaime Alberto Casteñada (Col) EPM-UNE
10. Manuel Belletti (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox

Standings after stage 2
1. Francisco Ventoso (Spa) Movistar


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