Daniel Viegas, on the break on the third stage: “It was a must to fight from kilometer zero to be in the breakaway”
71ª Vuelta a la Comunitat Valenciana
Stage 3: Orihuela – Torrevieja, 175 km
After the first few kilometres, during which the pack was very strong and remained grouped together despite various attempts to escape, six riders ended up making a break after the first ten kilometres of the course, which would soon be up to three minutes. The Portuguese Daniel Viegas, included in the team at the last minute due to the sick leave of the Italian Riccardo Verza, gave presence to the Kometa-Xstra Cycling Team in this movement. The breakaway ended within the last ten kilometers, another tried later died in the last kilometer and in the sprint, beautiful and tight sprint, second partial success for the Dutch Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma).
Along with Viegas, Héctor Saez (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Manuel Peñalver (Burgos-BH), Julen Irizar (Fundación Euskadi), the Russian Petr Rikunov (Gazprom) and Iván Moreno (Kern Pharma). A breakaway without WorldTour, although very much controlled by WorldTour, especially with Deceuninck-Quick Step and Jumbo-Visma at the helm. The group would give up Peñalver. Viegas itself would also lose contact on the way up to Hondón de los Frailes. By then his advantage is less than two minutes. Saez, Irizar and Moreno would extend their pulse to the last ten thousand metres. The Polish Kwiatkowski (Team Ineos) and the Belgian Naessen (AG2R-La Mondiale) would slip into the last three kilometres, allied with a stretch rich in roundabouts and turns. But the massive finish was finally achieved.
The five members of the Kometa-Xstra arrived within the main bunch, with their minds already set on the important stage of this Saturday with a finish in the Sierra de Bernia. The queen stage of this Vuelta a la Comunitat Valenciana connects after 170 kilometers the very cyclist Calpe with this mountain located in the municipality of Altea. Six kilometers of high exigency, with constant percentages over 10% and ramps up to 20%. Rates, Benimatell, Confrides and Tudons, all of which are regular enclaves in an area that hosts a large number of concentrations every winter (the Kometa-Xstra also, in nearby Oliva Nova). “Tomorrow is the day”, points out Márton Dina, 41º in Torrevieja. “Today again, my teammates were out of ten, a great job, and we saved the day”.
Daniel Viegas, Portuguese rider of the Kometa-Xstra, after the third stage of the Tour of the Comunitat Valenciana: “After having lost in the stage of yesterday our fast man, and one of our two tricks to make a beautiful general, it was a must to fight from the kilometer zero to be in the breakaway. We made it, not without fighting a lot. But the stage, its development, did not invite us to be very optimistic. They’ve had us under control all day. At the top of the mountain I had a hard time and in the end the most sensible thing, with the pack so close, was to support Márton within the group and to focus on such a hard stage as tomorrow”.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)