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After Movistar had controlled the rainy and shortened stage, Molano beat Lobato and Shilov in the uphill sprint on the final stage of Vuelta a la Comunidad de Madrid; Lobato won the race overall, with Herrada making it a 1-2 for Movistar

Photo: Movistar Team

DANIELE RATTO

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JESUS HERRADA

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JUAN JOSE LOBATO

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MOVISTAR TEAM

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VUELTA A LA COMUNIDAD DE MADRID

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08.05.2016 @ 19:00 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Sebastian Molano (Manzana) proved that he deserves to return to the professional peloton when he surprisingly beat Juan Jose Lobato (Movistar) in the uphill sprint on the second and final stage of the Vuelta a la Comunidad de Madrid. After the stage had been shortened due to torrential rain, the Colombian held off the Spaniard in the final dash to the line but second place was enough for Lobato to win the race overall, with Jesus Herrada making it a 1-2 for Movistar.

 

Last year 20-year-old Sebastian Molano was one of the youngest riders in the pro peloton as he made his professional debut with the Colombia team. Coming from a track background, he mixed it up in the sprints but none of the pro teams were willing to sign him when his team disbanded at the end of the year.

 

Molano was forced to return to his home country as he joined the small Manzana Postobon team but he still aims for a return to the pro level. Today he proved that he deserves to get another chance as he took an impressive stage win on the final day of the Vuelta a la Comunidad de Madrid where he beat pre-race favourite Juan Jose Lobato in an uphill sprint that was tailor-made for the Spaniards characteristics.

 

After the lumpy opening stage, the race ended with a criterium that was set to be contested over 19 laps of a 5.05km circuit in the Madrid suburb of Barrio del Pilar for an overall distance of 95.95km. It’s was a very simple circuit held on a mostly straight road where the riders traveled back and forth with U-turns in both ends. The first part was uphill and there was a category 3 climb (1km, 2.4%) after 1.65km of racing. Then it was slightly downhill until the turning point and the flamme rouge. The final kilometre was again slightly uphill.

 

Unfortunately, it was raining heavily at the start and so the organizers decided to cut four laps from the race, reducing the distance to 75.75km. However, the bad weather did stop the aggression when the race finally got underway and Movistar had to work hard to control things.

 

Caja Rural put Movistar under pressure as they put Diego Rubio into the 8-rider group that escaped. Aldemar Reyes (Manzana), Jorge Cubero (Burgos), Diego Ochoa (Boyaca)  and Alejandro Marque (LA Aluminios) were also part of the move that quickly got an advantage of 20 seconds.

 

The gap went out to 40 seconds but Movistar were intent on not giving the escapees too much of an advantage in the treacherous conditions. They kept the gap below the one-minute mark before Louletano came to the fore with 5 laps to go when the gap was only 30 seconds.

 

The Spanish national team took over the pace-setting one lap later and this prompted Rubio to make a solo move. The Spaniard dropped his companions and crossed the line with three laps to go as the lone leader with a 36-second advantage.

 

Movistar again took over the pace-setting and they had reduced the gap to just 10 seconds at the start of the penultimate lap. Their fast pace made the peloton split in the wet and windy conditions and it also made it impossible for Rubio to stay clear.

 

At the start of the final lap, everything was back together and Movistar were still in full control. They tried to set Lobato up for another win but the Spaniard was unable to match Molano’s speed as the Colombian rode to a comfortable win. Sergey Shilov (Lokosphinx) crossed the line in third.

 

It was still a great day for Movistar though as the Spanish team made it a 1-2 with Lobato and Jesus Herrada in the overall standings. 11 riders finished in the same time as Lobato but due to stage placing, the Movistar pair took the top positions, with Daniel Ratto (Androni) completing the podium.

 

Lobato won the points competition while Heinier Parra (Boyaca) was the best climber. Ochoa won the sprints competition and Hugh Carthy (Caja Rural) was the best young rider. Euskadi won the teams classification.

 

With the Vuelta a la Comunidad de Madrid done and dusted, there’s a big break in the Spanish cycling calendar. In fact, the next major event in the country is the Prueba Villafranca on July 25.

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