Award-winning combativeness: “We’ve been fighting all day on the breakaways to try it”
37th Vuelta a Zamora
Stage 4: Mahide-Viñas, 131.6 km
Frenetic final stage in the Vuelta a Zamora, with a high rhythm (the final average was 42,5 km/h) and multiple situations of race always with the presence of the riders of the Kometa-Xstra Cycling Team in front in which the leader, the Navarrese Josu Etxeberria, had to save a couple of complicated moments. After an early breakdown, the Caja Rural cyclist was 50 seconds behind the first pack, which included five riders from the under 23 structure of the Alberto Contador Foundation. Etxeberria finally won a final general classification where Mario Vilches, from Jaén, very active and attentive to the circumstances, climbed up to the ninth place. Vicente Hernaiz from Pucel, backed by the points added in the queen stage on Thursday, won the general classification of the mountain.
In the fourth section of the Zamora race, the victory was for Raúl García from Madrid, a Lizarte rider who competed in the junior structure of the Alberto Contador Foundation last season. García was the fastest of the ten riders who faced the final repechage, a group where Arturo Grávalos was also riding. But luck was not on his side and on the descent to Viñas, two kilometres from the finish line, he suffered a crash, nothing serious, which ruled him out of the fight for the partial victory. Grávalos had been the backbone of that escape with a solo attack at kilometre 113. A gamble to which more adventurers joined him from behind and which ended up crystallising with a thirty second lead over the leader’s group.
“We’ve been fighting all day on the runaways to try. In the end we couldn’t achieve anything else, but personally I’m happy with the whole fight,” said a Mario Vilches who tried to jump from the pack within the last ten kilometres and reach the front group where his teammate Grávalos was riding. About his fall, Arturo himself said: “In the end these things happen. Sometimes they go well and sometimes they go badly… But, well, if you don’t try, you never know what will happen. I’ll keep the good feelings during the race. It’s not over, now let’s go for the races of the weekend”.
“It’s been an active race, very lively, and we’ve been in everything from the start. We were left with the honey on our lips because of Arturo’s crash two kilometers from the finish line, because he was carrying a little hole; we don’t know if he was going to win or not, but the little hole was made and that’s where the big doubt lies. Bad luck, that’s cycling. But we are happy, with a lot of attitude from the whole team,” says director Rafa Diaz Justo.
Finished the Vuelta, without solution of continuity, this Saturday it is the turn of a Trophy Ayuntamiento de Zamora that adapted before the pandemic and changed his habitual dates of March to be able to celebrate his 39th edition. Manuel Campesino, visible head of the organization, explained during the official presentation about its 81.5 kilometers of route: “It has been changed this year, since the roads we used to run on are not in good condition. It is a short race, but it will be very fast and demanding”. With an essentially flat profile and the threat of wind influence, the sprint is the most feasible outcome.
For the Zamoran Trophy, the ‘six’ of the Kometa-Xstra Cycling Team introduces two changes: Fernando Tercero from La Mancha and Yago Segovia from Asturias enter the team instead of Joan Martí Bennassar from the Balearic Islands and David Martín from Andalusia.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)
📸 Álvaro García / El Pelotón