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The youngsters stole the day at Vuelta a San Juan with Ryan Mullen winning stage 3 and Filippo Ganna taking the overall lead.
“It’s January, the first race of the year; I didn’t come in with the expectations of winning,” said Mullen. “I wanted to see how I would stand against guys like Flippo [Ganna], and this is motivation and hopefully motivation for me in the next races like Algarve.”
Irish time trial champion Mullen, 23, won the 14.4km race against the clock in San Juan, Argentina. Riding for UAE Team Emirates, Ganna, 21, pulled on the leader’s jersey after finishing 25 seconds behind the Trek-Segafredo winner. Bora-Hansgrohe’s Rafal Majka was third on the day, 30 seconds slower than Ganna, and looks poised to contest the final overall title.
“I have a good position in the general classification now and have some time up my sleeve,” said Majka. “But there are of course still many more stages to come, including some long and difficult climbs, so the GC can still change around a lot in the coming days.”
Mullen added that he saw an opportunity a few weeks ago when he examined the course’s route and profile. The windy final four kilometers were difficult, but he was able to cope with the conditions.
“I just had to push, but I felt like I was dipping in the final five minutes; I had to hang on,” Mullen said. “I think everyone got it wrong today, you always push hard in a headwind, but that last 4km [was a surprise]. I forgot, and I started going slower and slower. Everyone was the same, even Filippo [Ganna].”
Wednesday’s stage 4 could be another chance for the sprinters. The 182.8km race from San José Jachal to Villa San Agustín has a climb midway through and a long downhill run to the finish.
Gregor Brown contributed to this report from San Juan.
Stage 4, top 10
- 1. Ryan Mullen, TREK – SEGAFREDO, in 0:17:43
- 2. Filippo Ganna, UAE TEAM EMIRATES, at :25
- 3. Rafal Majka, BORA – HANSGROHE, at :30
- 4. Gregory Daniel, TREK – SEGAFREDO, s.t.
- 5. Oscar Miguel Sevilla Rivera, MEDELLIN, at :36
- 6. Winner Andrew Anacona, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :38
- 7. Omar Alberto Mendoza Cardona, MEDELLIN, at :44
- 8. Rémi Cavagna, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :44
- 9. Eduardo Sepulveda, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :50
- 10. Jhonnatan Narvaez, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :52
- 1. Filippo Ganna, UAE TEAM EMIRATES, in 06:58:37
- 2. Rafal Majka, BORA – HANSGROHE, at :05
- 3. Oscar Miguel Sevilla Rivera, MEDELLIN, at :11
- 4. Omar Alberto Mendoza Cardona, MEDELLIN, at :19
- 5. Eduardo Sepulveda, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :25
- 6. Ricardo Escuela, ASOCIACION CIVIL AGRUPACION VIRGEN DE FATIMA, at :27
- 7. Winner Andrew Anacona, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :35
- 8. Jhonnatan Narvaez, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :43
- 9. Kanstantsin Suitsou, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, s.t.
- 10. Mattia Cattaneo, ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI – SIDERMEC, at :45