World champion Jose Antonio Hermida and Multivan-Merida team-mate Rudi Van Houts tightened their grip on the Andalucia Bike Race with victory on stage three.
“I felt pretty tired, but the stage was not as demanding as the previous ones,” said Hermida who, with Van Houts, won the opening prologue and stage one before finishing second on stage two. “I suppose that fatigue has come to all and there is not much margin for exhibition [riding]. We are happy to increase our lead and have one less stage until the end of the race.”
Hermida and Van Houts now lead the general classification by 2:57.9 minutes ahead of Portuguese pair Luis Alberto da Costa Leao Pin and Tiago Jorge Ferreria Oliveria (Team Bicis Esteve), while Multivan-Merida’s second team of Hannes Genze and Andreas Kugler lie 5:49.4 minutes back.
Hermida added: “We set a high pace at the beginning of the stage in order to make the selection in the first few kilometres and that has left us alone in the lead together with the other Multivan-Merida team and the Portuguese squad.
“We rode the stage together and then we decided to attack with a few kilometers to go, which has allowed us to increase our gap in the overall, as well as achieving a new stage victory.”
In female category, Sally Bigham and Milena Landtwing (Topeak-Ergon/Centurion) remain unstoppable and lead Asa Erlandsson and Kajsa Snihs (Team Snabeltutarna) by more than 26 minutes.
View the full results online at www.andaluciabikerace.com/resultados