Andalucían Success For Aalerud

Norwegian Katrine Aalerud from Team Movistar claimed her first pro stage race success in the Vuelta a Andalucía. Katrine left Dronova (CGS) behind more than 60km from Castellar’s stage five finish. González won the Intermediate Sprints prize, while Sara Martín claimed 6th in the final GC after her stunning win on Saturday.

The good atmosphere, cooperation and bond between all moving parts of the Movistar Team over the 2nd Vuelta a Andalucía Elite Women led to a decisive change in the overall standings during Sunday’s intense 90km stage five, Estepona to Castellar de la Frontera. This had been almost unthinkable just three hours before.

Katrine Aalerud took the last yellow jersey against the almighty Tamara Dronova (CGS), who cracked on the slopes of the Alto Hacho de Gaucín (Cat-1) as the Team Movistar Blues excelled. Saturday’s winner Sara Martín, 4th on the final stage and 6th overall acted as ‘stopper’ in the Russian’s attempt to secure overall victory. Katrine amassed a decisive, one-minute gap leading to the finish.

This was the women’s Movistar Team’s fourth success in 2023 and the Abarca Sports organisation’s 16th win this season, making it back-to-back GC victories in the race after Arlenis Sierra’s 2022 triumph. Overall, the team made a spectacular impression a few weeks before the season’s big goals. Alicia González was also delighted with her Intermediate Sprints classification win.

Katrine Aalerud said of her win, “I’m so happy with this, my first GC victory. I wanted to give it a fight and see if we could get closer to Dronova, but I was also afraid that an attack over the Cat-1 ascent would not stick because it was so far away from the finish. However, it was better to try than leaving without having at least made an attempt. And we achieved it – which I’m so, so happy about.

“Dronova is an explosive rider who does way better at shorter ascents like the previous days’, but at the flatter section, with the three of us taking turns – Ottestad (NOR), the day’s winner; Lotte Claes (SRC, 3rd); and Katrine – and the good cooperation until the end, gave us a decisive margin to win. I think we managed ourselves well as a team over the week, and this is a huge reward for the excellent job everyone did here in Andalucía, both riders and staff.”

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