Good attack of Visconti on the VCV Queen stage
Cocentaina, Saturday, 3rd February 2018 – 69th edition of Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana
The fourth, Queen stage (184,5 km) of Valenciana started in Orihuela. The most demanding stage and a big challenge for all the teams started under much better weather conditions than yesterday’s stage. Sunny weather, a bit chilly and with permanent NW wind, ensured dry roads, leading to the snowy peaks of the 7 climbs of today’s stage. Two 1st category climbs, Carassquetta (113th km) and Alto de la Canteras (finish), were decisive points today.
The strategy was clear – to work hard for Giovanni Visconti. Franco Pellizotti, Domen Novak, Enrico Gasparotto and Luka Pibernik were keeping him safe until Alto de Benillup (at 18,3 km, 3rd cat.) when Giovanni Visconti took the lead and kept this position till Comienza Puerto, 2.5 km before the finish and the final climb before the finish line. But his advantage of 10-15 seconds was unfortunately not enough for such a steep climb, which is not Giovanni’s specialty.
The top climbers took the leading role on the final climb to the finish. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana Pro Team) took the podium positions ahead of Herada, Roglič and Fuglsang.
In General Classification Alejandro Valverde kept the 14 seconds advantage over Sanchez and 26 seconds over Fuglsang.
Enrico Gasparotto explained after the race that today was a ‘full gas’ race just like on Vuelta Espana and it proves that in this early phase of the season there are no more easy or light races. He added that the stage was very fast, with a cross wind and all teams were hungry for results. Some teams already raced in January, but he expressed that after training camp in Calpe, BAHRAIN MERIDA Team is improving in every segment and each day shows that the things are going in the right direction.
Hermann Pernsteiner found himself in a group crash in the first phase of the race but he continued with the race and supported his team-mates. After the race Hermann was treated by team’s doctor, Dr. Marjan Koršič. Hermann got a light injury on the lip and he hit his rib, but they both believe that it is a harmless injury.