Second place of Arturo Grávalos in the third stage of Zamora, where the riojano jumps to second place in the general standings
XXXVI Vuelta Ciclista a Zamora
Stage 3: San Mamed – Rabanales (135.5 km)
The passes through the Vega de Nuez y Viñas KOM, and a dangerous terrain until the arrival in Rabanales with several non-scoring steep slopes, promised many movements in the fight for the general of this edition of the Vuelta a Zamora. And the forecast was fulfilled, almost to the letter. The third stage was hard and selective. And in the fight the Kometa Cycling Team sub23 was involved once, always very present in the vanguard of the stage. Arturo Grávalos, from La Rioja, finished second in this demanding day where Iván Moreno, the new leader of a general classification in which Grávalos occupies the second provisional position only ten seconds away, won the ‘lizarte’. Alejandro Ropero, on the other hand, is in fifth place, 43rd.
Grávalos and Moreno stood out within the last ten kilometers at the head of the race in a group of six units, to which they had arrived from barely ten kilometers before. Previously Ropero himself, Alessio Acco and Joan Martín Bennassar had been involved in some of the leaks that had been configured since the initial gunfire. Acco would be rewarded as the most combative, while Grávalos was recognised as the best sub23 of the race. It would not be until the Vega de la Nuez, just over thirty kilometres from the finish, that Ropero, Jordi López, Miguel Ángel Ballesteros and Victor Manuel Romero managed to stand out. A small group that had begun to form Alessio Acco with several attacks.
The quartet would roll with a minute and a half over the platoon. It was neither a fixed income nor was there a truce. Moreno and Grávalos would catapult forward, while the quartet grew in units and was half a minute away. Facing the finish line, with the pair rolling 47 seconds ahead, Moreno managed to release Grávalos, Spain’s brand-new runner-up, on the last steep slope and distance him by ten seconds. The riojano concretized a new great performance of the sub23 team of the Alberto Contador Foundation, that accumulates a new second place in the last times. It happened in Beasain last Sunday, also in the opening time trial of the Zamorano round and this Thursday in the region of Aliste.
Gravalos: “The team has been sensational from start to finish. At the end, in the last climb we started from behind Iván Moreno and me, we managed to catch the group of Ropero and go ahead later. In the final steep slope I entered with too much development and I was stuck. It was a pity not to have been able to put the cherry on the whole currazo made by my companions during all the stage”.
This Friday arrives the queen stage of the Vuelta a Zamora, with a high finish a very demanding route in the border area between Ourense and Zamora: 134.4 kilometers between Muelas de los Caballeros and arrival in As Hedradas. “We’ve already had two seconds in the last few days. The expectations for tomorrow will be to assault the leadership and above all to make it very difficult for the Lizarte team”, adds Grávalos. “The team has been a spectacle, we have dominated from beginning to end, we lacked that golden brooch of victory. All the guys did very well today. Tomorrow is going to be a very difficult day. There is a long transfer in the morning, they give heat, the stage is very hard and anything can change”, concludes the director Rafa Díaz Justo.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)