47th Vuelta al Bidasoa
Stage 2: Hondarribia-Hondarribia (128.8 km)
Alejandro Ropero defended his leadership in the Vuelta al Bidasoa after finishing second in the second stage, with a finish in Hondarribia after 128.8 kilometres that presented as a great difficulty, and hot spot of the day, the ascent to a Mount Jaizkibel that was crowned less than eleven kilometres away by the end. A complex obstacle: from Pasai Donibane there are a little more than eight kilometres of ascent at an average of 5.3%; a deceptive average, because the hardness is concentrated in the first three, with several sections at 10 and even 11%.
The Kometa Cycling Team supported its strong man to perfection during the climb, a Ropero who received attacks and offered quick answers. Atento, the cyclist from Otura crowned three other riders. In the early stages of the descent, a group of twenty-five units was formed where the Madrid team had three other riders (Alessandro Fancellu, Álex Martín and Carlos García). It was the descent that brought more problems. The leading group would grow to thirty members, but the British Alexander Braybrooke (AVC Aix-en-Provence) and José Félix Parra (Lizarte) stood out in its vanguard. Ropero and four other riders managed to reach their height practically within the last two kilometres.
Finally in the streets of Hondarribia, a reduced sprint of seven cyclists, where the French Jonathan Couanon (AVC-Aix-en-Provence) would end up raising his arms, with the Andalusian in second position. In the general Ropero consolidates its yellow slightly before the small concession of time of the Japanese Masahiro Ishigami and the Italian Alessandro Fancellu. Of the three runners who were six seconds away from the Kometa boy in the general stand only the Eritrean Binain Hailu (CC Mondiale). This Thursday’s winner, Couanon, and Parra, jump to third and fourth position in a provisional general classification where the Madrid team keeps three cyclists (Ropero; Fancellu, 6th; Martín, 7th), in addition to the overall leadership by squads and regularity.
But in this Bidasoa Itzulia every day means a new adventure. Strong emotions. And the maximum attentions. In the break, numerous, ten units that starred many kilometers of this second fraction, the British Simon Carr (AVC-Aix-en-Provence) entered. Colombian Jhon Stiven Ramirez was in charge of representing the Kometa in that movement, scoring Carr and, when the time came, also offered tactical alternatives if necessary. The breakaway would have rolled with three minutes, but the work of Kometa, Rias Baixas and Laboral Kutxa allowed it to fall closing to Jaizkibel.
This Friday in the Basque round the unpublished final of Urdax-Urdazubi opens, which comes after 134.8 km marked with several climbs. Another day of maximum tension.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistake)
📸 Mertxe Labrador