Sergio García finishes eighth in the Vuelta a Murcia after a Sierra de Espuña where Riccardo Verza shines
40ª Vuelta Ciclista a Murcia
Stage 2: Santomera-Murcia (179,6 km)
Nine riders separated by 30 seconds, a tenth rider at 50, and the rest of the peloton at more than sixteen minutes. This way he faced the Vuelta a Murcia this Saturday his second and last stage, the day of the Collado Bermejo. With a multitude of interests in game, a route with crumb and a very wide range of strategic possibilities. The Collado Bermejo was an implacable judge where the fight for the stage was solved and the general stage was completely clarified. Sergio García, eighth in the previous stage, could not be in the leading group of nine units resulting from the passage through the Collado Bermejo and a regrouping after twelve of the end. The Andalusian, however, squeezing on the bike, fought to be as far ahead as possible and his perseverance allowed him to retain his eighth position in the final general, 11:16 from the leader.
The second and last stage of the Vuelta a Murcia counted again with a great presence in the race of the Kometa-Xstra Cycling Team. The continental formation of the Alberto Contador Foundation, very centered in the figure of Sergio, also wanted to have riders in the head of the race. After several attempts, it was the Italian Riccardo Verza who stood out in the vanguard, leading the stage along with Spaniard Ángel Madrazo (Burgos-BH) as they passed through the Sierra de Espuña. At the back, Daniel Viegas, Diego Pablo Sevilla and Giacomo Garavaglia multiplied themself to assist García. A great performance of all the riders.
Alejandro Valverde’s attack was the germ of the explosion of the race in a thousand pieces and brutal differences. In the Gran Via del Escultor Salzillo would be imposed alone Luis León Sánchez (Astana) after an attack from the head group of nine units in the final stages, while the Belgian Meurisse, fourth in Murcia, secured the final yellow jersey to the harassment of Czech Josef Czerny (CCC) and German Lennard Kamna (Bora-Hansgrohe). The second group, just a sextet, arrived more than five minutes later. The Italian Alessandro Fancellu was the first of the Kometa-Xstra riders to cross the finish line, almost six minutes away. Sergio Garcíaa, finished the stage at almost eleven, 10:54 exactly, in a group with his teammate Giacomo Garavaglia.
“The truth is that I had a bad time today. If it hadn’t been for my team-mates I don’t know if I would have been able to finish in the top ten of the overall final. On the descent from Sierra Espuña the group was cut off. Both Giacomo and Diego were pulling out all the stops to get back on track and we made it. Halfway up the Collado Bermejo I ended up staying. I looked for my rhythm. And Giacomo was always with me, setting a good pace. We would end up joining a group with Antonio Soto too and, all in relay, we already managed the final part until the finish”, explains Sergio García about his experiences in this final stage of the Murcia round.
Jesús Hernández, director of the Kometa-Xstra Cycling Team: “It has been a very interesting edition of the Vuelta a Murcia for us and we are going to make our debut in the Clásica de Almería with a good taste in our mouths. To get a place among the first ten in the general final of a race like this gives us a great joy because the team has had very clear from the first pedal stroke that it was necessary to be attentive and in the fight. We attacked, we defended, we had many fronts to cover and the guys had a good race. I’ll stick with the first day. We appreciated that an outcome like yesterday’s stage was something that could happen, not with such a time advantage, and that it was mandatory for the team to be there. Sergio set up a sensational stage, he was the youngest of the escaped riders, he squeezed himself on the bike and faced without any complex the last kilometers in front of riders with much more experience. Today’s stage is something that has happened in the last few years, it is really demanding and the World Tour makes the difference. Riccardo Verza was very good fighting to be in the breakaway, Alessandro Fancellu made a very good climb to Collado Bermejo and the team protected Sergio very well”.
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