Vansevenant collects first podium of the season
Mauri Vansevenant surfed a crazy day at the Vuelta a Andalucia, which turned the general classification on its head after all-out attacks shattered the peloton on the day’s first classified climb, with more than 120 kilometers to go. A 25-man group comprising many of the top guys soon took off, but among them wasn’t the yellow jersey holder. As soon as they noticed his absence, the attackers – which included Mauri – pushed the pedal and ballooned their buffer to over a minute.
Behind, the riders in the bunch tried to organise themselves, but the firepower of those in the front couldn’t be matched and with every kilometer ticked off, the leaders added to their margin, making it clear the victory would come from that group despite all the chasers’ efforts. Vansevenant came through and shared the workload, as the escapees cooperated all the way until the last 25 kilometers to go.
Soon, the concord went up in smoke and attacks began flying, two men finding that extra gear that allowed them to build an advantage. The gap they carried into the final kilometer wasn’t that big, but enough for the duo to fight for the win, which went to Wout Poels (Bahrain Victorious). A few seconds later, the chasers came across the line and Mauri produced a powerful sprint that netted him a deserved top 3 finish ahead of more seasoned riders.
“I can’t complain. It’s only my fourth day of racing this season and to be on the podium is nice. Every day I feel better and better, and this gives me confidence. It was tough out there today and we rode full gas from the start, had to push hard the entire day, but I am content with my effort and result”, said Mauri after jumping to tenth place in the standings.
Photo credit: ©Bas Czerwinski / Getty Images