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Andalucía Bike Race 2011: Stage 3 report

The going isn’t always easy

Orbea victorious in the third stage of Andalucía Bike Race, taking over the leadership from Multivan- Merida riders Hermida and Näf.

Today’s stage was a bit more technical and harder than the previous one, which also swapped the results around in men’s category; Ruben Ruzafa and Iñaki Lejarreta are now provisional leaders of Andalucía Bike Race while Kristine Nørgaard and Sally Bigham seems invincible in the female category.

José Antonio Hermida and his team-mate Ralph Näf have been wearing the leader jersey during the first two days, but on today’s stage they lost a lot of time: the team of the World Champion Hermida lost several positions passing this finish line on fifth place, about 20 minutes after the stage winners. Näf was having some problems with the back after yesterday’s stage: “I made a bad movement on the bike yesterday, and during today’s stage it just got worse. It inhibited me from pedaling comfortably, so we decided to just concentrate on finishing the stage.”

With all of this, the leader groups also got lost at a point of the stage, due to a marking problem beyond to the organization´s control. This incident caused some of them a lost of time, but they soon got back in the lane.

Orbea team, who is stronger day by day, took advantage of the circumstances and Iñaki Lejarreta´s good shape to slip the other´s coverage in the Cerro Muriano´s downhill, where they finally become leaders in despite of Lejarreta´s fell down, that made him finish the stage with pain.

In the other elite specialty of Andalucía Bike Race, women´s, Danish Kristine Noergaard and English Sally Bigham got their third consecutive victory, demonstrating Topeak-Ergon/Hansens Flodeis´ superiority among women.  Also, Spaniards Sandra Santanyes and Isabel Castro are getting used to the competition and were second today.

In Mixed, Ibbett and Elliot were once again the first ones in the finish line. They are pedaling “quite ahead of the rest of the Mixed”, so they said their goal is to beat women’s leader”, with whom they shared trails today.

Danish Mads Boedcker and Henrik Cohen also got back to the top of the pódium, and they keep their leadership in Master.

Because of the marking incidents occured today, the Technical Jury took a decission consisting in taking as valid for the General Classification after Stage 3, the results considering the pass through Check Point nº 2 (Km. 54 of the stage). However, the Stages results are those of the arrival to the finish line.

Tomorrow´s stage, when the race travels to Jaen, will start from Priego de Córdoba, and will pass trough the typical Olive Tree area. The Via Verde is remarkable, where bikers are expected to reach very high speed.

This fourth stage, the longest of the competition, will end with a spectacular clim to the Jabalcuz mountains, and temperatures are expected to be lower than the previous days.

You can follow the race online with live results on the official website www.andaluciabikerace.com

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