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Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe) best handled the gravel-road finale of stage 3 of the 2022 Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana.
The Russian rider soloed away from an elite group in the unpaved, final kilometers.
“It was super steep and tough on the final climb but I like that kind of climbs. In the end, I could take the win and the overall lead which I’m really happy about. I’ve seen a video of the climb and I immediately knew that I would launch my attack in those steep gravel ramps,” Vlasov said.
Voicing concerns about road quality and safety several days ago, stage 1 winner Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team) trailed some 41 seconds behind the winner and came through the line in eighth place. His finish dropped him to second place on the general classification behind Vlasov.
Vlasov’s teammate Wilco Kelderman did not start stage 3, after crashing late in stage 2 and not completing the stage.
Prior to the stage start, Team BikeExchange-Jayco withdrew when several members of the team and support staff returned positive test results for COVID-19.
The stage that finished atop Alto Antenas del Maigmó, capping 3,900m of elevation gain.
The break of Attila Valter (Groupama – FDJ), Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates), Jan Tratnik (Bahrain Victorious), and eight others made a run early on.
With a two-minute advantage at the halfway mark, the break worked well and was not brought back until the final climb when Tratnik was reeled in with a strong move led by Jakob Fuglsang (Israel–Premier Tech).
Spaniards Alejandro Valverde and Enric Mas (both Movistar Team), Evenepoel and Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) covered the move but were unable to match Vlasov’s blistering pace on the white gravel road.
Stage 4 Saturday is 193.1km which features a mostly-flat final 80km — with a few small undulations — after gaining altitude from 30km to 70km in the first half of the stage.
Report and results to follow
2022 Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana stage 3 Results
- Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-hansgrohe), 04:02:17
- Carlos Rodriguez (Ineos Grenadiers), at :14
- Enric Mas (Movistar Team), at :21
- Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious), at :29
- Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team), at s.t.
- Jakob Fuglsang (Israel-Premier Tech), at :32
- Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo), at :35
- Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team), at :41
- Luis León Sánchez (Bahrain Victorious), at s.t.
- David De La Cruz (Astana Qazaqstan Team), at :50
2022 Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana General Classification
- Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-hansgrohe), 12:28:39
- Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team), at :32
- Carlos Rodriguez (Ineos Grenadiers), at :36