Ruta del Sol: Antunes 9th in the “queen” stage

Amaro Antunes put on another outstanding performance in orange colors, this time finishing 9th in the toughest stage of Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol.

Info: Stage 2, February 15th,  Otura (Granada) – La Guardia de Jaén (Alto de Allanadas) (Jaén)

Course: hilly, uphill finish (cat. 1, 4,5km long, avg. 10,8%, max. 17,5%)

CCC Sprandi Polkowice riders didn’t make it into the 9-man breakaway, which gained as much as 7:30 on the bunch, but it was not the key move of the stage. The last escape standing – Diego Rubio – got caught on the final climb, with 2km to go and the battle for the stage win was carried out on the steepest section of the ascent.

At that point the main group was down to just 10 riders and among them was CCC Sprandi Polkowice leader, Amaro Antunes. He was able to stay with the favorites up until 1km to go. This is when he got dropped and finished the stage at his own pace, in a very solid 9th place, 38 seconds behind the winner, Wout Poels (Team Sky). Portuguese rider sits now 9th also in the general standings.

I feel that my form is getting better and better, my sensations on the bike are good, but today I had to deal with some allergies and it had an impact on my performance. This uphill finish suited me, since I’ve won in such terrain in the past, but I’m at my best on longer climbs – Amaro Antunes said after the stage.