XXXVI Volta Castelló
Stage 1: Benicassim-Benicassim (139.5 km)
Alejandro Ropero from Granada and John Stiven Ramirez from Colombia made a remarkable debut for Polartec-Kometa U23 in the Vuelta a Castellón, joining the ten-team group that came out on top at the finish line and in which they won the sprint, winning the first leader’s jersey, the’caja rural’ José Daniel Viejo. Ropero, fifth, and Ramirez, who finished eighth, finished with the same time as the winner and were instrumental in concluding the team in second place in the provisional overall per squad.
A first stage in which the presence of the Alto del Mirador de Oropesa, with its summit less than eight kilometres from the finish line on Calle Santo Tomas, was expected to be decisive. More than crucial, it was selective within a group of two dozen units that was formed mid-day. Ropero did not let his ramps pass in vain, although without success. “I tried, but I couldn’t leave; there wasn’t enough land,” he says.
“In the sprint I did what I could; although I have my top speed, I’m not as fast as the riders in front of me. But I am very motivated for this race”, said the Andalusian.
This Friday, stage two. There will be 122 kilometres between Onda and Alqueries in which two ports will have to be faced, La Nevera and Eslida, for the Grand Prix of the Mountain.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)