Angel Vicioso (Andalucía- CajaSur) took over at the Vuelta a Asturias in Thursday’s hilly stage to Gijón.
A winner here in 2008, Vicioso was fastest out of a reduced group that did not include overnight leader Pablo Urtasun (Euskaltel-Euskadi), winner of Wednesday’s opening stage.
The bumpy, 142.5km stage from Llanes to Gijón featured three climbs, including the day’s main hurdle with the Cat. 1 Alto de San Martín de Huerces with less than 14km from the finish. Prezymeslaw Niemec (Miche) was the last man standing out of a three-day breakaway when he was caught in the closing kilometers.
Andalucía-CajaSur chased down late attacks, including one by pre-race favorite Ezequiel Mosquera (Xacobeo-Galicia) in the final 2km to set up Vicioso for the win out of the reduced group of 20 riders.
Vicioso out-kicked Santi Pérez (Loule-Louletano), winner of Tuesday’s Subida al Naranco, with Constantino Zaballa (Loule-Louletano) crossing the line third.
With no time bonuses, Vicioso holds the leader’s jersey on placement with 20 riders all at the same time.
The race continues Friday with a split stage. The morning sector is a rolling, 88.3km stage well-suited for sprinters from Gijón to Aviles. The afternoon stage is a 14.2km individual time trial that will prove decisive in the fight for final victory.