Brazil's Alex Diniz stuns big names to win stage three of Tour de San Luis

Last Updated: 24/01/13 10:55am

  • Share:
Alex Diniz: Claimed a shock victory on the queen stage

Alex Diniz: Claimed a shock victory on the queen stage

Sky Bet

Brazil's Alex Diniz upstaged his big-name rivals to claim victory on stage three of the Tour de San Luis with a solo attack on the final climb of the day.

The 27-year-old Funvic Brasilinvest rider darted off the front of the peloton as it ascended to the summit finish at Mirador del Potrero and crossed the line 24 seconds ahead of Italy's Mauro Santambrogio (BMC) in second place.

Poland's Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step) was third, but Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff), who was one of the pre-race favourites, saw his lack of early-season fitness exposed and could only finish 13th, 48 seconds back.

Spain's Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), who lost two minutes 43 seconds on stage two, was once again a long way off the pace and finished way down the field.

Diniz, who was suspended for two years in 2009 after testing positive for EPO, now assumes overall leadership of the race.

The first mountainous day and queen stage of the Tour de San Luis took the riders 174km from La Punta to Mirador del Potrero and up two category-one climbs.

The first, Alto de Nogoli, is 25km long and topped out at 2,084m after 90km, while the ascent to the summit finish averaged 6.7 per cent in gradient over 4.8km.

A seven-man group - containing mainly local riders but also Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step) - formed an early breakaway and opened up a gap of over six minutes on the main bunch.

However, they were unable to sustain their numbers and, after three men dropped off, the four surviving members were caught with 30km to go.

A second break saw two riders pull out an advantage of over one minute, but they too were soon reeled back in as the peloton approached the concluding climb.

All eyes were on the likes of Contador and Jurgen van den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol), but instead it was Diniz who made the decisive move and, in doing so, took control of the race.

Stage three result

1 Alex Diniz (Bra) Funvic Brasilinvest, 4:29:36

2 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) BMC, +24secs

3 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, same time

4 Bart de Clercq (Bel) Lotto-Belisol, +25

5 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC, st

6 Jurgen van den Broeck (Bel) Lotto-Belisol, st

7 Dani Diaz (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos, +29

8 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida, +34

9 Miguel Angel Rubiano Chavez (Col) Androni-Venezuela, st

10 Andre Cardoso (Por) Caja Rural, st

General classification

1 Alex Diniz (Bra) Funvic Brasilinvest, 4:29:36

2 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) BMC, +24secs

3 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step), same time

4 Jurgen van den Broeck (Bel) Lotto-Belisol, st

5 Bart de Clercq (Bel) Lotto-Belisol, +25

6 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC, st

7 Dani Diaz (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos, +29

8 Miguel Angel Rubiano Chavez (Col) Androni-Venezuela, +34

9 Andre Cardoso (Por) Caja Rural, st

10 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida, st

  • Share:

Related

Most Popular

Features

Bizarre Astana

Bizarre Astana

Orla Chennaoui blogs on a strange exchange with the embattled Kazakh team Astana.

Tinkov exclusive Q&A

Tinkov exclusive Q&A

Orla Chennaoui interviews Oleg Tinkov about the Russian's €1million triple Grand Tour challenge.

Track Euros guide

Track Euros guide

Day-by-day guide to the European Track Championships in Guadeloupe.