Ropero, in the fight in A Coruña: great in the Ézaro and fifth in the finish line
XVII Vuelta a Provincia da Coruña
Stage 1: Ponteceso-Ponteceso (150 km)
With the ramps of up to 30% of the Mirador de Ézaro as judges of the peace a few more than 50 kilometres from the end, this Friday saw the start of a new edition of the Vuelta a Provincia da Coruña, in which Alejandro Ropero from Granada was the most outstanding rider of the Polartec-Kometa U23. The Otura rider, who was very present at the end of this first day, finished fifth in the steep finish line in Ponteceso, where he won the stage and became the leader Antonio Angulo (Rias Baixas). The Galician Alejandro Regueiro, ninth to just over a minute and a half, rounded off a great performance by Polartec-Kometa, second best squad of the day in the team general classification.
Ropero, the first U23 rider at the finish line, and therefore the object of a podium, was one of the seven riders who managed to stand out at the head of the race in the last twenty kilometres, frenetic twenty kilometres in which there were non-stop attacks and counter-attacks, with a lot of protagonism for the Galician formations, in a group of around twenty units that had been formed shortly after the Dumbría intermediate sprint. That small platoon, in turn, was formed in the kilometers after the passage through the tremendous Ezaro. In the climb popularized by the Vuelta España, an exercise of survival and personal sacrifice given its ramps, a wall where some drops fell but did not get to rain with intensity, crowned first the ‘SuperFroiz’ Sergio Vega and Ropero crowned in ninth place.
“I’d never been up to Ézaro before, I didn’t know him. This morning I was watching a video on Youtube to see more or less what the upload was like. Once there, in the end it was a matter of pushing to hold on as long as possible, because it was clear to us that today was a very important day, a day to be there,” explained Ropero after taking the podium as the best U23 rider. The Spaniard leaves Ponteceso fully involved in the fight for a general in which he has the same time as the leader. “Yeah, I’m literally in the ointment. We’ll see how I defend myself these next two days. But I’m very motivated”.
Rafa Díaz Justo, director: “We had the handicap that Joan Martí Bennassar had a fever this evening and during this week we also had Ropero, Regueiro and Viegas upset. We had some doubts about how things would go for this reason, but we knew that both Ropero and Sergio Garcia were coming very strong. The two of them and Regueiro have passed through Ézaro and have been included in the two groups that later joined and have formed the group from which, at about 25 of goal, have left the seven men who played the stage. Ropero has proved to be the strongest of our team by making it into the national team. He’s the best U23 of the race. It’s okay. It’s okay. We’re going to see how things are going during these two stages”.
This Saturday, the second stage will take place, 133 kilometres with start and finish in the Rúa Principal de Curtis, in which, of course, the riders will not have to face percentages like those of the Ezaro, but there will also be the orographic difficulties and the usual repechages of the singular Galician orography.