The hardness of La Desesperá, the toughest climb of the current edition of the Extremadura round, provided as expected a great selection in the development of the second stage, the final one in Jaraíz de la Vera where, in a group of thirty riders, the Uruguayan Thomas Silva (Caja Rural) won with eighth place for Andrea Montoli. The provisional general classification sees the rise of Pablo Carrascosa from Extremadura, while Montoli is sixth, ten seconds behind.
The location of this climb, very intimidating because of its four kilometres of great hardness, many ramps above two digits and a kilometre with an average gradient of nearly 12%, invited to deploy strategies, but despite the numerous attempts that tested the breakaway in the first kilometres, none of them consolidated. A dynamic of movements where the U23 structure of the Contador Foundation had Gabriele Raccagni as one of the most active cyclists.
A quartet formed by Ismael Guzmán (Gomur), Aitor Bugarín (Rias Baixas), Josúe Gómez and Josep Tomas (Netllar-Alé) ended up amassing a margin of over a minute, but the percentages of La Desesperá invited to the grouping. And before the start of the race, it came to fruition. On the climb, which was crowned within the last 30 kilometres, David Delgado (Cortizo) was the embryo of a head of the race that, already on the descent, initially grew with Thomas Silva (Caja Rural), Pablo Carrascosa and Jorge Gutiérrez (Finisher Team) and then grew to thirty riders. Among them, Andrea Montoli. A group of thirty riders who devoured the approach to Jaraíz in a dynamic of accelerations, offensives and counter-offensives in which Samuel Fernández came close to victory but his team-mate Silva ended up winning.
Montoli was involved in the finish and was able to achieve his first top ten of the season and consolidate his position at the top of the standings. “I’m happy because it’s the first top ten of the year, although I’m a bit angry because the director had asked us to keep an eye on Silva, especially in the final part of the race. Until about 300 metres from the end I was able to carry out that order, but on the last corner a rider made a bad line, he made a gap and it was impossible for me to cover it. La Desesperá was very hard, I found it a very demanding climb. I had to do my best there, going more relaxed in the first part of the day, but I suffered a bit in the hardest part. I stayed calm, at a good pace, and I got back on track on the descent. Now we’re going for tomorrow’s stage”.
The Vuelta a Extremadura faces its halfway point this Friday with a stage that is a priori favourable for a sprint, but not without steep climbs and the danger of the wind, which will travel from Arroyo de la Luz to Valencia de Alcántara, very close to the border with Portugal. A journey of 129 kilometres.