The arrival at Clunia on the first day was more decisive than the team time trial on the morning of the second in an edition of the Vuelta a la Ribera del Duero seasoned by the action of the wind, especially at the start of the last stage, in which the overall went to Sentje Sentjens (Acrog). An edition that had no riders from the EOLO-KOMETA youth in the dispute for the overall classification and in which a final fraction with a lot of fight and a lot of wind at the start upset the plans even more.
This final stage, with a frenetic start and windy action, blew up with the early passage through Valdecavas and La Serrezuela in which the men in the general classification, with the then leader Markel Beloki at the front, took a step forward. There was a subsequent regrouping, a group of around thirty riders with a lot of Belgian and French riders, who ended up fighting for the partial victory and, given the intermediate and finishing bonuses, also the overall classification.
Gerard Cano talks about these days: “As a race and as an experience, a very nice Vuelta a la Ribera del Duero. But it doesn’t leave a good taste in our mouths. Our form didn’t go with us, our sensations didn’t go with us and neither did our luck. The sensations with which I arrived were not the best, after a week without competition and with the need to relieve Iker Díaz, who was initially going to compete in the race, just 48 hours before travelling. All in all, I finished better than I thought I would have liked, although not as well as I would have liked. On the first day we lost our way a bit with a breakaway of very strong riders and in the team time trial, although we performed badly, we could have done a bit more, we were left with the feeling that we still lacked a point to give. The last stage was not our best day. I thought that the hardest part of cycling was in the high mountains or in the mid-mountains, but the wind on Sunday changed my mind completely. It was probably one of the hardest days of my life, one of the days when I suffered the most on the bike. The Belgians set a strong pace on the climbs and on the flats they took me out of my rhythm several times”.
[📷 Álex García (1), Álvar Martín (3), Martín Early (4), Alimco-Campagnolo (5)]