Collective attack on the steep slopes of the dehesa, Serrano’s improvement in the classification and third place for Oioli
Vuelta a Extremadura
Stage 4: Miajadas – Garrovillas de Alconétar (145 km)
Javi Serrano from Madrid improved one place in the provisional classification of the Vuelta a Extremadura after Saturday’s fourth stage, when the team made an important selection with a movement of the whole bunch in the middle of the race in which the big group was reduced to forty riders. The leader Mulu Haillemichael was there, but not Romaric Forques.
A day at very high speed, with an average speed of over 45 km/h in the first hours. The combination of speed and the terrain, which was much rougher than the profile showed, resulted in a lot of wear and tear. At the start, in the search for a breakaway, an adventure in which Andrea Pietrobon was particularly active and in which a large breakaway was formed, sixteen riders, which opened up the race for many kilometres. Afterwards, with the selection stimulated by the blue team.
Towards the finish line there were several attacks. One, very consistent, by Álvaro Carasa (Rias Baixas). Another, later, on the last climb of the day, highlighted Mikel Retegi (Lizarte), Carlos Collazos (GSportTeam), Viacheslav Ivanov (MP Group) and Álvaro García (TelcOn). Ivanov launched a devastating attack that allowed him to arrive alone. In the bunch sprint, Manuel Oioli took third place.
Javi Serrano, second overall at 38 seconds: “The whole team has done an impressive job, it has been spectacular from the first to the last of the teammates. The feeling was good and even today we felt less heat, because Thursday was hellish. We tried to start on all terrains: in windy conditions, also going uphill…. Now we’re in second place. Looking ahead to the finish, I wanted to work for Manuel Oioli, who is very fast. I knew the finish was tough. I started to push, but I didn’t have the strength to close the gap. I wanted to give him back the work he did, but in the end we got a third place for Manu, who is a first year rider, and I’m sure he’ll do well. Tomorrow is sure to be tougher than today. We’re going to go all out”.
This Sunday the Vuelta a Extremadura concludes in Moraleja after a stage in which the riders will have to face several climbs in the Sierra de Gata. The last one, the Alto de Villamiel, has 6.7 kilometres of climbing at an average of 6% and maximum gradients of 11%. From the top to the finish, almost forty kilometres.