Jesus Herrada wins Mont Ventoux Denivele Challenges
17 June 2019 12:43
Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) won the inaugural edition of the Mont Ventoux Denivele Challenges on Monday, beating Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) to the top of the so-called 'Giant of Provence'. The Spaniard, who won the Tour of Luxembourg earlier this month, was the only rider able to follow when Bardet attacked 8.6km from the summit of the 21.3km final climb, his team having shredded the 80-rider peloton. The duo climbed the rest of the exposed mountain together, with Herrada looking utterly at ease as he comfortably responded to a series of accelerations from Bardet in the final 3km. With 400 metres to go, he launched a big attack of his own and surged clear, beating his chest as he crossed the line.ADVERTISEMENT Bardet, who had finished 10th overall at the Criterium du Dauphine barely 24 hours previously, crossed the line nine seconds down, with Rein Taaramae (Total Direct Energie) taking the final spot on the podium more than a minute back. The organisers of Mont Ventoux Denivele Challenges had run Gran Fondos in recent years but put on a 1.1 UCI-classified race for the professionals this year, offering a one-day event for pure climbers. The route packed 4,100 metres of elevation gain into the 173km route, with six more minor climbs leading towards the mighty Mont Ventoux, one of the most famous climbs of the Tour de France. A five-rider breakaway went clear early on, containing Brice Feillu (Arkea-Samsic), Alex Aranburu (Caja Rural), Remy Rochas (Delko Marseille Provence), Angelo Tulik (Total Direct Energie), Mario Gonzalez (Euskadi-Murias). It was clear it was all going to come down to the final ascent, with the peloton almost at full capacity as they kept the break on a relatively short leash over the Col de Toulourenc, Col des Aires, Col de l’Homme Mort, Côte de Gordes at 116km, Col des Trois Termes, and Côte de Blauvac.
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