Outstanding work of the Kometa Cycling Team in defense of the yellow of Alessandro Fancellu
XXX Vuelta Ciclista a León
Stage 4: Molinaseca – Andarraso (138 km)
One of the great things about a stage race like the Vuelta a León is its commitment to include in its layouts areas that are not usual for competitive cycling but could also become the scene of great battles worthy of the WorldTour. Perhaps the fourth stage of the Leonese round, held this Friday, is a great example. Vindicating its orographic particularities. Wednesday, Valdeón Valley. Today, a mountain stage without great summits, in terms of height or kilometres of ascent, but with its demands. And a difficulty added by the chained several, perhaps short in mileage, but with areas of great hardness in terms of percentages. Andarraso was reached after four and a half kilometres uphill, the first three very hard with averages that comfortably surpassed 10 and 11%. There the Italian Alessandro Fancellu defended his leadership and will start this Saturday, in the last stage, as leader of the race.
In Andarraso, the second highest town in the province (1,430 m), the breakaway ended up triumphing. An early escape of ten cyclists that always rolled within two minutes of advantage. In Cueto Rosales, revolution in the breakaway. Five riders would abandon their team mates to stand out at the head of the race with a minute and a half over the pack. In the Kometa Cycling Team, peace of mind with work. The team marked the rhythm and the escape, in those margins, did not bother with the best classified of the same one to three minutes of the yellow one of Alessandro Fancellu: the ‘rias baixas’ Samuel Blanco (8º, to 3:05). There was also Jesus Arozamena (Froiz; 17º, at 4:28).
At 20 kilometers the advantage was just over a minute. The work behind Jhon Stiven Ramírez, Álex Martín, Sergio García and Alejandro Ropero was very important in a demanding journey through the historic region of Omaña and up to seventeen towns in the municipality of Riello. Short but hard mountain passes.
Ten kilometres from the finish line, 50 seconds separated the head of the race and the platoon. A platoon with very few units. The Chilean Elías Tello (Kuota) would stay at the head of the race on the ramps of Andarraso with 30 seconds over just twenty cyclists. Tello would succeed in bringing his strength to a successful conclusion with a prestigious victory in an unprecedented ascent for the race. Alessandro Fancellu finished ninth, within a small group that crossed the finish just over a minute. A group where Sergio Araiz did not ride, a nine-second time concession that reaffirmed the Italian in the yellow. Carlos Garcia would arrive shortly after, completing another great ascent in this race.
Alessandro Fancellu, leader of the Vuelta a León: “At the end it was a very hard stage, with many steep passes. The balance is good because we could take time from Sergio Araiz. Although, well, there is still one day ahead and we hope to keep this jersey. The team has been simply sensational, all day controlling the breakaway. And then in the final port with the support of Edu Perez-Landaluce and Carlos Garcia, who have done an exceptional job. I’m very happy, but there’s still one day left”.
And that day joins La Bañeza with Sahagún. There will be 126 complicated kilometres, due to a broken terrain. The Italian Fancellu will start the day with 27 seconds over Sergio Néstor Araiz. Norwegian Adne Holter, third, is 1:05. The Kometa Cycling Team, a great prize for work throughout the day, remains in front of the general team.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)
📸 Mertxe Labrador