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Mandri Wins Stage at Vuelta León
Rene Mandri won today's third stage of the Vuelta Ciclista a León (UCI 2.2) in north-west Spain today with a long solo attack from the day's telling break.
Mandri and team-mate Jack Anderson were part of a of twelve rider group who opened up a gap after 25km of the day's 161km stage which ran over five categorised climbs from Val de San Lorenzo to Riello. Although the break had opened up a gap of over four minutes at one stage they stopped working effectively together and Rene and Jack went on the attack to take control of proceedings.
Rene's aggression paid off and with as the raced passed under the 20km to go banner, he jumped clear from the only member of the break that was able to follow his move and soloed to the finish line, with a winning margin of over a minute.
With two stages to come, Iker Camaño sits in 8th spot with Jon Tiernan-Locke two places further back in 10th, both at +2:43. Friday's penultimate stage covers 180km from Sabero to Villamanín on another mountainous course which features the fearsome Puerto de Pajares just 15km from the finish.
It was another crazy hot day and everyone was still tired after Wednesday's efforts. The plan was to get riders into the break and go for the stage win. I was happy to have Jack with me in the initial move. Many of the others didn't want to pull in the break and so we started to attack with 60km to go. Finally, I managed to get away with another rider with 40km to go and then I dropped him with 20km to go. It feels great to get my second win of the season. Thanks to all the team for their help today.
Alex Sans Vegas (Sporting Director):
After yesterday's stage, where the overall classification started to form, it was a good chance for a break to make it to the finish. The situation was perfect for us having two riders in the break with Rene and Jack. The initial group didn't really work well together and and so we had to go hard to force the selection. Both Rene and Jack rode strongly and finally after many attacks, Rene got away with another rider, while Jack controlled things behind. On the second last climb, Rene dropped the other rider and was strong enough to ride solo for the last 20km. Behind, Iker and Jon also rode well, staying in the small group with Belda (the race leader) on the climbs.
La Mi-Août en Bretagne (UCI 2.2)
Meanwhile, in the opening stage of La Mi-Août en Bretagne in France, Alexandre Blain was part of another long break, eventually finishing third behind David Veilleux and Bjorn Thurau of Europcar. The race continues on Friday with three stages left. Paul Voß won all three of the days categorised climbs to take the lead and jersey in the King of the Mountains competition.