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“Rodolfo had kicked great, and looked on his way to a great result, but bad luck affected our plans once more. It is a pity, ‘cause Torres showed the level and consistency he has been providing for the whole season so far."

Photo: Colombiacyclingpro.com

VUELTA A CASTILLA Y LEON

RACE PROFILE
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NEWS
19.04.2015 @ 21:09 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

In sports, and in everyday life, you don’t make history with ‘if’. But with 5 km to the uphill finish of Vuelta a Castilla y Leon stage 3 (Zamora-Alto de Lubian, 179 km), when Rodolfo Torres of Team Colombia-Coldeportes was leading solo on the final climb, the rider from Busbanzà looked really poised to take a well-deserved maidens seasonal win. Instead, an ill-timed puncture jeopardized it, forcing Torres to an extra effort to bridge to the leaders and get back in contention for the stage: his fourth place, 20 seconds behind winner Pierre Rolland (Europcar), is the result of an awesome performance by the Colombian, who looked like the strongest on the last climb since the early slopes of the Alto de Lubian, with gradient peaking up to 15%.

 

The race plan designed by Oscar Pellicioli and Oliverio Rincon had been perfectly actuated by the Escarabajos: Edwin Avila had taken part in the day’s breakaway along with Pablo Torres (Burgos BH), Perrig Quemeneur (Europcar) and Dmitry Sokolov (Lokosphinx), resisting in the lead until 20 km to go, with Avila being the last man to surrender, using the remaining energy to position Rodolfo Torres ahead of the last climb.

 

With 7 km to go, at the foot of the final climb, 40 riders were still part of the leading group, including Walter Pedraza and Miguel Angel Rubiano along with Torres, and it was the Colombian to break the ice, accelerating with 6000 metres to go and immediately getting a gap.

When no one looked capable of replingy to Torres’ attack, it was bad luck that stopped his action: Torres lost 40 seconds due to the puncture, while attacks were happening in the main group, reducing the field to seven riders.  With extraordinary grit, Torres reacted and got back to the leaders, holding on to the following acceleration that eventually cut the leading group down to only four athletes: Pierre Rolland, Benat Intxausti and Igor Anton (Movistar) and the Colombian itself.

 

Rolland’s decisive move came under the 1 km banner: the Frenchman took the stage and the overall win, while Movistar occupied the two remaining podium spots, with Intxausti and Anton respectively. Having surrendered 57 seconds in stage 2 split, Torres climbed to 8th overall, while Walter Pedraza finished in 17th position.

 

“It was unbelievable today,” Sports Director Oscar Pellicioli said, “Rodolfo had kicked great, and looked on his way to a great result, but bad luck affected our plans once more. It is a pity, ‘cause Torres showed the level and consistency he has been providing for the whole season so far: after Volta a Catalunya he was really disappointed to be forced to retire, but opportunites are not over for him. I think we will see him to the fore again at Giro del Trentino (April 21-24).”

 

Alex Cano did not take the start in the final stage due to a cystitis that had been affecting him for several days. The rider will now go through some days of rest, on the way to full recovery in time for the Tour of Turkey.

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