40ª Volta a Castellò / 40º Vuelta Ciclista a Castellón
Stage 2: l’Alcora – Altura (158,5 km)

A day after being involved in a crash that made him lose five minutes, Sebastiano Minoia confirmed that he arrived at this Volta a Castellò with very good legs after having participated in the Segovia training camp where the team for the imminent Giro U23 was finalised. Minoia finished this Friday second in the second stage of the Levantine round, a second place with even more value after having been riding, and being protagonist in the climbs, in the great escape of the day. Raúl López, eleventh, rounded off the good sensations that he leaves this Friday (with the EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team U23 finishing as the best team of the day) placing fourteenth in the provisional general classification.

Second hard stage, with almost 3.000 meters of accumulated vertical drop, in which the formation of the breakaway was much more fought. Edoardo Alleva, Gabriele Bessega and Álex García were present in the most consistent offensive movements. After the 53rd kilometre of the day, eleven riders, including Sebastiano Minoia, would group together at the head of the race to consolidate more than a minute and a half over the leader’s peloton. This breakaway, which would lose some members along the way, would leave the Collado de Ayódar reduced to three riders: Sebastiano Minoia, Jorre Debaele (Basso Team) and Josep Tomás (Brocar).

La Nevera, the climb with the hardest ramps of the day, kept the trio in the lead with a minute and a half, a difference that, depending on the pace behind, was decreasing and growing with some ease. Ugaitz Otxandorena (Finisher), Abel Rosado (Finisher), Gabriel Rodas (Caja Rural) and Nil Gimeno (Gomur) were catapulted into the breakaway from the peloton. With Debaele and Otxandorena absent after suffering on a steep climb, the five would end up playing for the win in the sprint, with Rosado beating Minoia in the streets of Altura. The leader’s group, which also included Raúl López and Luca Bagnara, reached 40″.

“I’m very happy,” says Minoia as the expedition travels from the arrival at the team hotel. “Especially because at the beginning of the stage I had some doubts, because in the first hour I felt some pain from yesterday’s crash. Finally I managed to get into the breakaway and as we went on the stage the sensations were much better. In the final part I was very good. In the last corner I had to change the line, I lost angle and I practically had to sprint from a standstill, without inertia. But I think this second place is very nice”.

This Saturday, the queen stage. A high finish, in the village of Bel, with a very deceptive previous terrain that will be toughened by Salsadella (9.5km at 4%, 17% gradients) and La Mirona (6.5km at 5%, with 10% gradients), located in the first third of the day.

[📷 Toni Bauxalí / @cxcling / @VoltaCastello ]

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