45º Tour de Gironde International Juniors
Stage 3: Landiras-Villenave d´Ornon (114,5 km)
Round weekend for the junior team of the Alberto Contador Foundation in one of its major international commitments of the season. Carlos Rodríguez from Granada inscribed his name in the French Tour de Gironde after defending his leadership with solvency this Sunday during a last stage in which the support of his teammates in the Kometa Cycling Team became fundamental again.
A final day again very busy, with many attempts to escape in competition, in which the work of a powerful squad was essential. Gerard Bofill, Juan José Rosal, Pablo Gutiérrez and Javier Serrano, as in the previous stages, were immeasurable. It was not a comfortable day at all, with a very nervous final circuit. The tension, materialized in numerous falls, was joined by the rain. The victory corresponded to the Frenchman Pierrick Bailleux, who came with a slight advantage over a platoon where the leader arrived.
Rodríguez, fourth overall in the 2018 edition, began to set his victory on track in the inaugural time trial on Saturday morning, over 7.1 kilometers. The Almuñecar rider, with a time of 9:31, placed first with an eight-second margin over Frenchman Antonin Corvasier and nine over Benjamin Marais and Tim Tom Teutenberg. The sixth classified was already 18 seconds away. One of the great merits of the team directed by Guillermo Gutiérrez was to place his six riders among the top twenty-seven riders of the stage.
In the second sector the Andalusian supported his leadership when he finished second, after the Italian Giosué Epis. Rodríguez was one of the great protagonists of the final part of the race, inside a circuit, after some previous kilometres where the riders of the Kometa took in many moments all the weight of the work to neutralize different cuts. “A great job has been done, we had a lot of visibility in the race. The team put together a great performance from the first to the last of the guys, it was a victory of block, of collective. From the first to the last, everyone was out of ten,” said Gutierrez. The victory in the general team has come to reward this great group performance.
Carlos Rodríguez, after his fifth victory of the season: “In the three stages I felt quite well. I am very happy for this victory, but above all I am very grateful for all the effort and involvement of my teammates. Counting on his work has been a real luxury. At all times they controlled the race and without them this victory would not have been possible. I can only thank them”.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)