Daniel Moreno’s (Katusha) future in the sport is still unsure but he gave any potential negotiations a helping hand with a strong solo victory on the final, queen stage of the Vuelta a Burgos. The 2012 winner attacked inside the final kilometre to beat a chasing Rein Taaramäe (Astana) by 13 seconds at Lagunas de Neila. He took the points classification but it wasn’t quite enough for the overall victory and he missed out by nine seconds to Taaramäe.
“Unfortunately I just did not take enough time on Taaramäe and Scarponi to win the overall, like I did three years ago. I needed this win. I was so close already many times this year. This makes me happy,” Moreno said in a team press release. “It was very hard but the compensation is so nice, especially after my earlier two second places this week in Burgos. It was a hard fight against a strong Astana block, but in the end I took the stage win.
“I attacked at the right moment. David Belda and Pierre-Roger Latour attacked too early in my opinion. I attacked on the steepest part and in no time I caught the two leaders and made a nice gap to the others. It was good to see race leader López drop.”
Moreno began the day 30 seconds down on the race leader Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana), after finishing second to the Colombian on the Pineda de la Sierra. Two other Astana riders, Taaramäe and Michele Scarponi, also blocked his route to the top spot. Katusha directeur sportif Claudio Cozzi believes they lost the race on the second stage, where the gave away 32 seconds to the Kazakh outfit in the team time trial.
“With a bit luck we also could have won the Overall. Now that we won the queen’s stage we will not complain, but Dani just misses nine seconds. We lost these seconds in the team time trial. However we may not complain,” said Cozzi.
Moreno is due to leave Katusha at the end of the season after the team decided not to renew his contract. He joined Katusha in 2011 but it is not clear where he will head next season.