XXXVI Vuelta Ciclista a Zamora
Stage 4: Moraleja del Vino – Zamora (122,5 km)
A new edition of the Vuelta a Zamora concluded this Saturday in the provincial capital, Zamora, the pearl of the Duero river, and it did so with another very disputed stage, without truce or respite, in which the consolidation of the escape took time to arrive and during which there was also space for tension in the fight for the general. It happened that, around kilometre 35, Alejandro Ropero from Granada got into a break of sixteen units, where two of his team mates were also, the Asturian Yago Segovia and the Balearic Joan Martí Bennassar. The group was numerous and many interests converged in giving it continuity, but Caja Rural was in charge of throwing that movement down.
It was neither the first nor the only one of the attempts that took place during a really intense start. They were compasses where tension and struggle were intertwined. The average of the first hour of the race exceeded 46 km/h. The spiral of starts, incessant. The Galician Alejandro Regueiro, seeking to be part of an offensive, ended up crossing first an intermediate sprint.
A score of cyclists would take over and sixteen others, including Bennassar again, would give life to a new escape attempt once the previous one ended. The presence of dangerous men for the general classification forced the Lizarte team to demolish it, not before the Balearic cyclist of the Kometa Cycling Team persisted in his bet and stimulated the creation of a third of runners who briefly led the last stage when he still had more than fifty kilometres left to resolve it.
The next leak would end up being the definitive one. Fourteen riders, including the Italian Alessio Acco, a small group where all the strongest teams were represented, would be able to accumulate more than a minute’s advantage over a platoon in which Lizarte was in charge, in accordance with an unrivalled escape that restless their leadership. White smoke. Habemus’ escapes. For forty kilometres, with the last three scoring climbs of the race in the middle, the breakaway would be based on his options. The last one, La Barrosa, was the scene of several attacks with the fight for the partial victory already in play.
The Spaniard Sergio Jiménez (Team Extremadura) would end up imposing himself slightly highlighted, after an attack two kilometers from the end, in a finish where Alessio Acco finished seventh, a good brooch for an intense and outstanding week of work and learning. “It has been a very good race for me, I am really happy to have been able to help the team a lot. Although we are always a little bit unlucky. Today, because when I launched the sprint it saw me a little closed. And during the premier stage, because I had two punctures in important moments,” says Acco.
Alejandro Ropero finished second in the classification of the Zamorano round, 36 seconds away from the final winner, the ‘Lizarte’ Iván Moreno from Castellón, while his teammate Arturo Grávalos signed the sixth place (1:32). “We have fought from the beginning to the end. They got back very, very fast”, says Otura’s about his offensive. Ropero, during this frenetic final stage, would also have to negotiate with a breakdown in the change of his bike. For the Andalusian’s bag, finally, the secondary generals also left between the U23 riders and the points classification. Joan Martí Bennassar was designated the most combative rider.
Rafa Díaz Justo, director of the Kometa Cycling Team: “The day to dispute the general was complicated, as there were really no places to do a great damage to the pack, in addition to the rivals are in a great moment of form. The race started very, very fast, with a lot of cuts. Even the leader took one. But in this dynamic Ropero got into another with several riders and back reacted. Later the day got a little complicated because Ropero had a breakdown at the same time that they were ahead a score of cyclists. We had to work hard to close that gap. Later on, the fourteen who came in front of us left, where Acco’s asset was, which we wanted to play, even though we were aware of the difficulty. We finished this Vuelta a Zamora happy. We would have liked to achieve the general classification, of course, but we left happy with a victory, with two second places in two stages, with a second and a sixth place in the final general classification and a great attitude of all the boys”.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)