47th Vuelta al Bidasoa
Stage 3: Hendaya-Urdax/Urdazubi (134.8 km)
Alejandro Ropero endured one more day the leadership of the Vuelta al Bidasoa after an intense final in Urdax-Urdazubi in which the Andalusian of the Kometa Cycling Team was involved in a crash about 400 meters from the finish line. The partial victory, in solitary, taking to the success all a pulse to the peloton, left for the bag of the vitoriano Oier Lazkano (Caja Rural), who managed to cross the goal with 13 seconds of margin on a small group where they rolled the first two threats of Ropero, the French Jonatha Couanon and José Félix Parra. The technical jury gave the Granadino the same time as the persecuting group.
Carlos García, sixteenth at 15 seconds, was the first of the riders of the Kometa Cycling Team in Urdax; a final that initially allowed him to jump to ninth place in the general classification, finally twelfth after a series of corrections by the judges for those involved in the crash. “The truth is that the sensations are improving every day, but the important thing is to be able to give Alejandro a hand and see if we can be with him until the end. On the last wall we had five riders in front of us, including Alejandro and myself, and then everything came together a little bit. A bigger group. On the left side there was a fall, which caught Alejandro,” says the Madrid guy. “But it hasn’t been anything, I’m fine”, the leader is calm. “Not serious damage, no. Today has only been a stone in the road. There is only one day left. We’ll keep fighting it”.
The third stage, the longest day, again produced a day of great intensity and fight in which, beyond some previous movements, around kilometer 60 ended up forming the escape of the day: the ‘Caja Rural’ Oier Lazkano and ‘Lizarte’ Ibon Ruiz. Both would achieve more than two minutes on a group of about sixty units where the Kometa Cycling Team, later also the Laboral Kutxa and finally also Lizarte, when he was only in the lead Lazkano, worked to reduce their advantage. In the last ten kilometres he managed a half-minute margin which, with three seconds to go, was still 20 seconds. A lesson in strength from Vitoriano.
The Bidasoa Itzulia is decided by seconds. The differences are minimal and up to twelve riders (of which four are members of the Kometa Cycling Team) are within a minute’s margin. The longest day of the race clarified the general one a little more, but it keeps the expectations open for the final stage. From the fight was eliminated the Eritrean Binyam Hilau, who went to the ground and did a lot of damage, retiring during the first hour of the race.
The Vuelta al Bidasoa concludes this Saturday with a frenetic 77.3 kilometre stage in which cyclists will have to overcome the heights of Gurutze (km 6.1), Aritxulegi (km 16.5), Agina (km 25.1), San Martzial (km 47.9) and Erlaitz (km 58.2). This last climb, with three kilometers above 10% and ramps of 14%, emerges as fundamental in the resolution of the test. Alejandro Ropero is in the lead, with a 9-second lead over Couanon and Parra, 10 over Ishigami, 16 over Urbano and 22 over Ballarin. In the noble zone are Alessandro Fancellu, fifth; Álex Martín, seventh; and Carlos García, twelfth.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)