Davide Rebellin confirmed that he is one of the top favorites for the general classification in the Tour du Limousin, by finishing 2nd on the hardest stage.
Today our team controlled the pace in the bunch and was making sure that the gap to the escape is never too big. In the finale Maciej Paterski and Grega Bole did a great job by helping me position myself for the attack, but Herrada surprised everyone with his move with 800 meters to go. I was hoping that the final climb will be a little bit steeper and harder. I prefer more demanding terrain and this is where my chances for victory are the biggest. I’m happy to win the sprint for the 2nd place though and want to thank my teammates who again helped me a lot – Davide Rebellin explained.
The hilly race from Pompadour do Lissac-sur-Couze was very lively from the very beginning. After series of attacks, with 15 kilometers into the stage, a 3-man group was established in the front. It included Baptiste Planckaert (Roubaix-Lille Métropole), Marco Minnaard (Wanty – Groupe Gobert) and Julien Duval (Armée de Terre). They built up almost 7-minute lead, but it was reduced to only 3:30, when the “orange squad” with the support of the leader’s team, Bardiani-CSF, moved up front in the bunch.
When it was still 65 kilometers to go, Duval got dropped from the break. The duo continued their ride for the next 40 kilometers until Minnaard was unable to keep up with Planckaert. He was reeled back in, but few minutes later also the Belgian escapee got caught, 15 kilometers from the line.
On the penultimate, cat.2 climb, the peloton got shattered and only 60 riders approached the last ascent in the main field. Among them was Jesus Herrada (Movistar), who pulled away on the steep section in the finale and powered solo to victory. He reached the finish 10 seconds ahead of the chasing pack, from which Davide Rebellin was the strongest. He claimed 2nd and climbed up in the general classification to 5th overall. Thomas Sprengers (Topsport-Vlaanderen Baloise) was 3rd on the stage.
Herrada took over the leader jersey and is 14 seconds ahead of the Italian from CCC Sprandi Polkowice.