Spain’s Xavier Tondo (Movistar) fell out of the lead – literally – in Saturday’s “queen stage” at the Tour de San Luís in Argentina.
The overnight leader crashed with 15km to go in Saturday’s 193km sixth stage from Estancia Grande to La Carolina and forfeited more than 15 minutes on GC and tumbled out of the top-10. The fall came at the top of the day’s final climb at the Cerro El Amago. With a long descent to the finish line, Tondo lost all options for overall victory in the season debut for Movistar.
Things were looking good for Tondo, who had dropped GC threat José Serpa (Androni) on the day’s final climb and had Movistar teammate Juan Mauricio Soler at his side.
“I was left without energy,” Tondo said at the line. “What can you do? These things happen. It’s a shame.”
Colombian rider Miguel Angel Rubiano (D’Angelo) won the stage at 1:29 ahead of Antonio Piedra (Andalucia-CajaGranada), with Marco Arriagada (Chile) crossing the line third in the same time.
Arriagada took advantage of Tondo’s bonk and fall, and takes over the leader’s jersey with just one stage to go. The Chilean now leads Josué Moyano (Argentina) by 38 seconds, with Italian Eros Capecchi (Liquigas) slotting into third at 1:31 back.
The race concludes Sunday with the 167.1km seventh stage, starting and finishing in San Luís in central Argentina.