Joan Martí Bennassar looks to surprise on arrival in Roales with an attack on the final circuit
37ª Vuelta Ciclista a Zamora
Stage 2: Villaralbo-Roales (141,3 km)
The wind and the cuts brought emotion, tension and intensity this Wednesday to the second stage of the Vuelta a Zamora, the first day on the line. A day in which there was a change of leader, with the yellow one passing behind the Murcian ‘superfroiz’ Victor Manuel Romero, and resolution to the sprint by a reduced group where the Catalan of the Valverde Team Álex Ruiz imposed in a tight way his speed tip. The Balearic Joan Martí Bennassar, very active during the whole day, gave protagonism to the Kometa-Xstra Cycling Team again with an attack in the end of the stage. The U23 structure of the Alberto Contador Foundation faces the two hardest days with all its options intact.
The fans were, with permission of the eternal mechanical failures and punctures, the great threat of this second stage of Zamora. After the passage through Toro, an acceleration in the peloton led by the Lizarte team took many riders off and introduced the development of the stage into a new phase. Until then, the lead had been taken by the solo run of ‘Extremadura’ Cristóbal Moral, with a margin of up to six minutes. His advantage was radically reduced with the harnessing of a pack that increased his pace ostensibly. The six members of the Kometa-Xstra saved this first cut well, although a second big fan split the team in two with three members in each of the main groups originated. Behind them were Mario Vilches, Vicente Hernaiz and Edu Pérez-Landaluce.
Twenty kilometers of certain tension that found its end in the ascent to the Alto de Buenavista with the union of these two main groups. Afterwards, Gaizka Sotil (Laboral Kutxa) and Victor Manuel Romero (Froiz) would be in the lead, with Romero insisting on being alone so as not to be hunted until the last seven kilometres were left. A complicated phase of the race due to the incursion in a small urban circuit, already in Roales, which caused some confusion in the riders; David Martín got involved in a sprint generated one lap before the definitive one, which left him no margin of reaction for the real one. In the volata, Vicente Hernaiz, from Pucel, finished twelfth, while Edu Pérez-Landaluce, from Asturias, crossed the finish line two places later.
With two kilometres to go, one and a half laps to go, Joan Martí Bennassar delayed. The Mallorcan, who had already tried for kilometres before getting involved in a movement to catch up with Romero y Sotil who was in the lead, explained: “I wanted to try, but I ran out of gas on the last lap. I was able to get some air in the finish area to tackle a steep slope near the end, but I was a bit short”. Bennassar is the team’s best overall, tenth at 13 seconds off the new leader. The Andalusian David Martin and Mario Vilches and Vicente Hernaiz from Pucel are still 14th, 16th and 20th respectively.
This Thursday the halfway point of this first race by stages of the amateur field under the prism of the “new normality” is overcome with a third stage that will be fundamental for the resolution of this edition of the Vuelta a Zamora. Always complicated, the journey for the mountainous orographies of the limit with Ourense will bring hardness and selection. It will be 139 kilometres between Mombuey and Aciberos with a double pass to a very demanding circuit with the passes through the heights of Ladiairo (1000 m), through Hermisende, and Marabón (1.335 m), with its final two kilometres above 10%, before the final climb in Aciberos.
📸 Álvaro García / El Pelotón