Only one second has prevented Alejandro Valverde from winning the third stage of the Vuelta a Andalucía, a 12-kilometer individual time trial between Lucena and Cordoba with victory for the Belgian Victor Campenaerts (LottoNL-Jumbo). Curiously, Valverde has recovered the red jersey of the race for that single second. The rider from Movistar Team has been fastest than Alberto Contador (Trek), who now is second in the overall, and the Frenchman Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), third.
Valverde and Movistar Team defend their first place in the two remaining days of the race, stages without much difficulty but where they can´t relax before their small margin. On Saturday, a stage with finish in Seville without difficulties in the final part of the profile and Sunday a day with arrival in Coín (Málaga) with a port of 3rd category 15 km away from the finish line.
Quotes: "For the moment, we're back in the lead and we've reached it into a time trial, which is massive for me. I felt quite comfortable over the course, it suited me well. Already this morning I was feeling well over it, and it proved to be right in the afternoon. I had decided to go full gas into the first half of the race, which was better for my conditions, and I tried to use my energy well over the second part, so I could at least be close to the leader's jersey.One second is nothing. You can't feel calm, even less so with Alberto Contador behind you".
Photo: Karlis Medrano - Vuelta a Andalucía