Rojas beats Contador

Movistar sprinters gets the better of Tour de France favourite

José Joaquín Rojas (Movistar) beat Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-SunGard) in a sprint to take the Spanish national road race championship.

Rojas was the only rider to stay with Contador on the final time up the Desierto de Las Palmas climb and then had little problem in beating the Tour de France favourite. Koldo Fernandez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) won the sprint for third place, 28 seconds down on the duo.

Movistar had four other riders in the top ten, with Jesús Herrada Lopez taking fourth, Angel Madrazo Ruiz was fifth and Pablo Lastras Garcia was sixth. Juan Antonio Flecha (Team Sky) was seventh.

Rojas emotionally pointed to the sky and hugged his teammate after winning the red and yellow Spanish champion’s jersey. He movingly remembered former teammate Xavier Tondo, who died in a domestic accident in May, and Mauricio Soler, who suffered head injuries in a crash at the Tour de Suisse.

"This is a really emotional victory. It seems like we're having a run of bad luck with all terrible accidents we’ve suffered but we're still taking really important victories. This win has to be dedicated for two people: Xavi Tondo, who will surely feel happy up there, and Mauricio Soler, who is still recovering from his crash in Switzerland,” he said in a statement issued by his team.

“I have always said I wasn't only a sprinter, I feel more like a rider for one-day races like today and I hope to keep improving in this way. I showed my form was really good at the Tour de Suisse, and this victory was the confirmation of my form.”

“We knew from the start that Contador was the strongest rider. He's the best climber in the world, and so we tried to make the race difficult for everyone so we could go with him in the key moment of the race I gave everything on the last climb to keep his wheel because I knew there would be a reward at the end. I never though we’d be caught because we were strong and worked well together.”

Rojas will proudly wear the Spanish jersey at the Tour de France and hopes to fight for the green points jersey and stage wins.

“This obvious gives me more moral for my goal of winning a stage. I finished fourth the green jersey competition last year and that shows that I was up there. I think there are some selective finishes that suit me pretty well this year too."

Contador plays it cool before the Tour de France

Despite missing out on the red and yellow champion’s jersey, Contador insisted he was happy with the outcome of his first road race since winning the Giro d’Italia and his last before starting next week’s Tour de France.

“The course didn’t suit me but I'm happy because it seems that my legs are slowly getting better,” he pointed out in a statement.

“I am very happy with the result and perhaps more with the great work of my team, despite having only three riders they gave me a good position to attack. We had Benjamin on the flat, then Dani on the first part of the climb, with Jesus making the final selection. After that it was very easy to attack.”

Contador sportingly praised Rojas and explained is race strategy.

“I did what I could but I was also looking at my watts. I noticed that Rojas was riding well in Switzerland and was very strong. I didn’t want to go away alone because I knew there was a lot of riding after the climb.”

Contador played down that the race gave any indication about his form going into the Tour de France. He still seems focused on recovery from the Giro d’Italia and hinted he intends to have a very quiet week before travelling to France.

“It wasn’t a very hard climb, although it was hot and we did 210km which was hard. I think my real fitness and ability to perform will be seen in the Tour. I have to wait and see how I feel because since the Giro I’ve focused on resting and will do the same until the start of the Tour.”

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team5:01:25 
2Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank Sungard0:00:01 
3Koldo Fernandez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi0:00:28 
4Jesús Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar Team  
5Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Movistar Team  
6Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Movistar Team  
7Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky Procycling  
8Luis Pasamontes Rodriguez (Spa) Movistar Team  
9Victor Cabedo (Spa) Orbea Continental  
10Marcos Garcia (Spa) KTM - Murcia  
11Gorka Verdugo Marcotegui (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
12Beñat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar Team  
13Egoi Martinez De Esteban (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
14Carlos Barredo Llamazales (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team  
15David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Movistar Team  
16Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team  
17Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi0:00:33 
18Francisco José Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) Movistar Team0:01:42 
19Jesus Rosendo Prado (Spa) Andalucia Caja Granada  
20Ricardo Garcia Ambroa (Spa) Orbea Continental  
21Constantino Zaballa Gutierrez (Spa) Miche - Guerciotti  
22Delio Fernandez Cruz (Spa) Onda  
23José Herrada Lopez (Spa) Caja Rural  
24Amets Txurruka (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
25Vicente David Bernabeu Armengol (Spa) Andalucia Caja Granada  
26Iván Velasco Murillo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
27David Arroyo Duran (Spa) Movistar Team  
28Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Realcyclist.com  
29Antonio Piedra Perez (Spa) Andalucia Caja Granada  
30Carlos Sastre Candil (Spa) Geox-TMC  
31Sergio Pardilla Belllón (Spa) Movistar Team  
32Patxi Javier Vila Errandonea (Spa) De Rosa - Ceramica Flaminia0:03:14 
33Alejandro Marque Porto (Spa) Onda  
34Jose Alberto Benitez Roman (Spa) Andalucia Caja Granada  
35Noel Martin Infante (Spa) Orbea Continental  
36Aitor Perez Arrieta (Spa) Lampre - ISD  
37Imanol Erviti Ollo (Spa) Movistar Team  
38José Ivan Gutierrez Palacios (Spa) Movistar Team  
39Raul Alarcon Garcia (Spa) Barbot - Efapel  
40Pascual Orengo Lopez (Spa) Burgos 2016 - Castilla y León0:05:09 
41Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Burgos 2016 - Castilla y León  
42Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
43José Luis Roldan Carmona (Spa) Andalucia Caja Granada  
44Javier Ramirez Abeja (Spa) Andalucia Caja Granada  
45Ruben Perez Moreno (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
46David Blanco Rodriguez (Spa) Geox-TMC  
47Pablo Urtasun Perez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
48Alan Perez Lezaun (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
49Aritz Etxebarria (Spa) Orbea Continental0:08:09 
50Eduardo Gonzalo Ramirez (Spa) Velo-Club La Pomme Marseille  
51Javier Francisco Aramendia Lorente (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
52Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Saxo Bank Sungard  
53Daniel Sesma (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
54Rubén Reig Conejero (Spa) Caja Rural  
55Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
56Jesús Hernandez Blazquez (Spa) Saxo Bank Sungard  
57Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Geox-TMC  
58Manuel Anton (Spa) Burgos 2016 - Castilla y León  
59Alberto Morras Fernandez (Spa) Onda  
60Arturo Mora Ortiz (Spa) Caja Rural  
61Enrique Sanz (Spa) Movistar Team  
62Mikel Bizkarra (Spa) Orbea Continental  
63Benjamin Noval Gonzalez (Spa) Saxo Bank Sungard  
64Francisco Perez Sanchez (Spa) Movistar Team  

 

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