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Trio climb Ruta del Sol GC

17 Feb 2017

Trio climb Ruta del Sol GC

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Wout Poels, Diego Rosa and Mikel Landa continued their strong showing at the Ruta del Sol following the stage three time trial - moving up to fourth, fifth and sixth overall.

A key day on the general classification saw the riders tackle a largely flat 11.9-kilometre course around Lucena.
 
Poels led the charge for Team Sky, clipping off the sixth best time of the day to climb the GC into fourth. The Dutchman came in 16 seconds back on the day's winner Victor Campenaerts (LottoNL-Jumbo), as attention centred on the GC battle.
 
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) was just a single second slower than the winning benchmark, but did enough to jump into the leader's jersey. Overnight leader Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) was third on the stage, and sits a second back heading into the weekend.
 
Backing up his team-mate on the leaderboard, Rosa held station in fifth overall (+45"), with Landa one place further back in sixth (+48"). Elsewhere a strong ride from Vasil Kiryienka saw the former world champ take eighth on the stage.
Kiryienka: Top-10 time on stage three (Photos: TDWSport)

Kiryienka: Top-10 time on stage three (Photos: TDWSport)

Dario Cioni

Dario Cioni

We know that the work was done over the winter, and if they can keep being close like this and putting themselves in the right position then the wins will come.
After the stage we caught up with Sport Director Dario Cioni who gave us a rundown on the day. He told TeamSky.com: "The guys all did good time trials - especially Wout who was right up there in sixth.
 
"Kiry got a top-10 too and he did a good job, but he likes longer distances. He prefers time trials with lower average power and longer in the saddle.
 
"Wout, Diego and Mikel are all still up there for GC. For Mikel it was useful as an early test ahead of the Giro d'Italia - so it was good to check his TT progression. He did a good job there. 
 
"To beat Valverde on a course like that was a bit optimistic I think. But our guys are right in the mix. We know that the work was done over the winter, and if they can keep being close like this and putting themselves in the right position then the wins will come."
Stage 3 results:
1. Victor Campenaerts (LottoNL-Jumbo) 14:55
2. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) +1"
3. Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) +6"
4. Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) +9"
5. Fabio Felline (Trek-Segafredo)
6. Wout Poels (Team Sky) +16"

Overall standings:
1. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) 9:01:34
2. Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) +1"
3. Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) +6"
4. Wout Poels (Team Sky) +21"
5. Diego Rosa (Team Sky) +45"
6. Mikel Landa (Team Sky) +48

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