Alessandro Fancellu assaults the leadership of the Vuelta a León winning in the Ancares
XXX Vuelta Ciclista a León
Stage 3: Toral de los Vados – Puerto de Ancares (137 km)
The Italian Alessandro Fancellu gave the Kometa Cycling Team sub23 its third success of the season by winning at the top of the demanding Port of Ancares, goal of the queen stage of the round in Leon and scene of the assault on the leader of junior bronze in the past World Championships in Innsbruck. The winner of the stage and new leader of the race cemented his success in the numerous escape, almost fifty runners, which was developed in the first kilometers and in which he joined his teammates Alex Martin and Eduardo Perez-Landaluce.
Practically of exit, in a first loop around Toral de los Vados, a very numerous cut was formed, with representation of all the teams, in which several squads were involved with firmness. Meanwhile, the main squad rolled about three minutes later at the imposed rhythm of the Eiser-Hirumet. The day resulted in a pulse between these two groups, formations that were losing members with the passage of the kilometers and the climbs to Corullón and Lumeras. At the end, a day for strategies, patience and cold blood.
Already in the demanding last ascent, with five kilometers very hard final, the smaller and smaller leading group, twenty units, was selected even more. The escape had arrived at the foot of port with more than two and a half minutes. Attacks on that avant-garde would soon take place. But the average slope of almost 12% of these final kilometres forced the runners to follow their rhythm and avoid the others. In the highest part, a dense fog joined the party.
The Norwegian Adne Holter moved one kilometre from the summit, but Fancellu read that movement, plugged the hole, overtook him and left alone to win with 18 seconds of margin on the ‘Lizarte’ Sergio Néstor Araiz and 23 on the aforementioned Holter. Fifth, at 47 seconds, the Catalan Álex Martín concluded, while the Asturian Edu Pérez-Landaluce finished eighth, 1:09 from his teammate. Three ‘Kometa’ among the top ten to reinforce the leadership in that secondary classification. At more than 3:22 came Carlos Garcia (16th), who signed another wonderful performance uphill, although the time disadvantage with which Ancares started was great.
Ancares’ rents are what mark the provisional general, with Alessandro Fancellu leading the race with 18 seconds margin over Navarro Araiz, 23 over Norwegian Holter and 42 over Panamanian Carlos Samudio (Centre Mundial du Cyclisme UCI). Edu Pérez-Landaluce, fifth, is already 1:09, while Carlos García, seventh, is 2:49. Looking forward to this Friday, a new mountain day with a very complicated finish in Andarraso. Another type of harbours that for sure will cause a lot of fight for the stage and for the general one. Fancellu also leads the secondary classifications of the points, the combined one, the first sub23 and the first foreigner.
Days ago, Alessandro Fancellu showed his special interest in the third stage. “That’s how it was, that’s how it was,” he smiles from the hotel. “I like those kind of climbs. Today I attacked at full speed two kilometers from the top. Now I hope to keep the yellow jersey until the last day. The team is very strong. But we have to see how the stages evolve. “It was probably one of my most special days on a bike. This victory is very special for me because Alberto Contador won here”, said the Italian previously to the teammates of El Pelotón.
Rafa Diaz Justo, director of the Kometa Cycling Team: “A nice victory in an iconic place. It has been a day that strategically turned out to be very complicated, we risked it and we ended up doing well both on one side and the other. From the beginning, an extremely crazy road, with a first group of 35 riders where we took two and a second of about fourteen where we took another. They were taking time. We had the cold blood of waiting to see what happened. It’s true that Carlos is in a great moment, and he showed it again in Ancares starting from the bottom and catching a lot of people, but it was difficult. There were a lot of people in front of us and we couldn’t work to bring down that leak like that in the first place. In the end we did put three riders. But in front of us were three riders, good climbers, who had ridden well protected all day long. In the final climb Fancellu has gone out. Now we have two very entertaining days ahead of us”.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)
📸 Vuelta a León