8/5/2012 12:00:00 AM - TEAM NEWS!
Moreno wins 2012 Vuelta a Burgos
Chaves prevails on queen stage finale
For the second straight year a Katusha rider has won the Vuelta a Burgos, but Daniel Moreno had to dig deep on the Lagunas de Neila mountain finish to seal victory for the 2012 edition. A pair of Colombians, Johan Chaves (Colombia Coldeportes) and Sergio Henao (Sky), dropped Moreno with 5km remaining on the hors categorie-rated finishing ascent and stayed clear to the finish line with Chaves taking the stage win from Henao.
Henao began the final stage 32 seconds behind Moreno on general classification, with Chaves a further six seconds behind the Katusha Spaniard, and for a while in the closing kilometres, with the slope at times reaching a leg-crushing 17 percent, overall victory for Moreno seemed in doubt. Moreno, however, rallied inside the final kilometre and finished 22 seconds behind Chaves and Henao in fourth place, enough to preserve his overall victory. Igor Anton (Euskaltel-Euskadi) rounded out the top three on the stage, finishing 11 seconds behind Chaves and Henao.
For Chaves, 22, today's victory was his first as a professional. "I'm extremely satisfied with this victory and happy for myself, for my teammates and the whole team," said Chaves. "This win might lead us to an exciting campaign in the second half of 2012."
Henao's and Chaves's climbing prowess was rewarded as both finished on the final podium - Henao ended up 10 seconds behind Moreno for second overall, followed by Chaves at 16 seconds for third on the final general classification.
Moreno led the Vuelta a Burgos from start to finish, winning the first two stages along the way, and his results augurs well for the upcoming Vuelta a Espana.
"This last stage wasn't easy because it was very hard with steep climbing," said Moreno. "In the end I suffered a little bit. When Henao attacked it was hard to follow him, but I had a good gap in general classification so I tried to manage it. On the last part of the uphill I gave my best in order to gain some precious seconds.
"I want to thank my team, especially Purito - he helped me a lot during this competition, now I'm ready to give my support to him during the Vuelta a Espana. I feel in good shape, and he is too. I'm sure we will get some good results."
The stage's main break didn't form until 66km had been raced and included Sergio Pardilla (Movistar), Ian Stannard (Sky), Christian Meier (Orica-GreenEdge), Jérémie Galland (Saur Sojasun) and Jarlinson Pantano (Colombia Coldeportes).
The five escapees built up a lead of six minutes, but the multitude of categorised climbs took its toll and the break fractured in the latter portion of the 170km stage. Inside of 20km remaining only Pardilla and Pantano remained off the front and their lead was being quickly reduced by the Katusha-led peloton.
On the penultimate climb, the category 2 Alto del Collado, Pantano dropped Pardilla and crossed the summit alone with the field bearing down in hot pursuit. He and Pardilla were caught on the descent leaving the concluding Lagunas de Neila climb to decide the stage and final general classification.
Team Sky took over the pace-making from Katusha on the climb as Rigoberto Uran and Sergio Henao came to the fore and quickly reduced the peloton in size. Soon only eight riders were left at the front: Rigoberto Uran and Sergio Henao (Sky), Daniel Moreno and Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), David Arroyo and Javier Moreno (Movistar), Igor Anton (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Johan Chaves (Colombia Coldeportes).
With five kilometres remaining Henao attacked and was immediately joined by Chaves. Daniel Moreno couldn't follow but kept the Colombian duo in check, trailing by 30 seconds with two kilometres to the mountain finish. Igor Anton soon set off in pursuit of Henao and Chaves, while Daniel Moreno found himself in the company of Javier Moreno and Franco Pellizotti (Androni Giocattoli - Venezuela). The time gap from Daniel Moreno to the two leaders remained at 30 seconds as he passed under the flamme rouge, and at this point the Katusha Spaniard upped the tempo and dropped Javier Moreno and Pellizotti.
Up the road it seemed that an agreement had been negotiated between Chaves and Henao as the Sky Colombian offered no resistance when they approached the finish line. If the gap to Daniel Moreno was more than 32 seconds then the Sky rider would have won general classification, but the Katusha rider reduced the deficit to 22 seconds and saved his overall win by 10 seconds.
Read more on: cyclingnews.com
Moreno wins 2012 Vuelta a Burgos
Photo: © bettini photo