Vuelta al Besaya
Etapa 4: Torrelavega – Los Corrales de Buelna (110,4 km)
The portuguese Antonio Morgado was crowned champion of the 2022 edition of the Vuelta al Besaya, revalidating his success of 2021 and equalling the only rider who had won the overall of the Cantabrian race in his two years in the junior category, the Andalusian Cristian Rodríguez, in a final stage with great prominence for Barcelona’s Nil Aguilera. The rider from Igualada launched an offensive in the Collado de Cieza, went away with the leader, won the stage and made his jump to the second final position of this edition.
The queen stage, the longest and possibly also the most demanding given the chain of the Collada de Brenes and the Collado de Cieza, provided an exciting spectacle against the backdrop of the fight for the overall. At the base of Brenes the EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team, first with Lucas Guillermo, then with Pedro García, imposed a very lively pace with a view to stimulate the selection, and beyond some attack, the leader Morgado controlled the situation. From Brenes, where second-placed Estanislao Calabuig dropped off, five riders, including Nil Aguilera, took the lead, and on the descent and the subsequent terrain the group grew to seven riders.
At the start of Cieza, which was tackled on the slope that has usually been descended in recent years, Nil Aguilera launched a hard attack that only the leader Morgado was able to follow. Aguilera insisted on the first two kilometres of the climb, the hardest with an average gradient of around 9%, while behind him Pau Martí, Iñaki Navarro and Mario Serrano were about fifteen seconds behind.
Aguilera and Morgado ended up understanding each other and reached the finish line together, where the Catalan crossed first. His second victory of the year. Martí, Navarro and Serrano were 17 seconds behind. And a couple of seconds later a MMR duo formed by Hugo de la Calle and Nil Gimeno, who managed in this final stage to enter the third step of the podium. The rest of the riders started to finish the final stage more than a minute later.
Nil Aguilera, second overall in the Vuelta al Besaya 2022: “I am very happy to have been able to achieve this victory and to have finished second overall, two impossible achievements without the support of my teammates all these days. Right at the start of the climb to Cieza I launched an attack to try to get Antonio Morgado off, but I couldn’t get him. He was very strong. We rode together and we understood each other well until the end. The Vuelta al Besaya is the most important stage race in Spain and that’s why I’m very satisfied with this second position. Now we have to think about the Spanish Championships in a few days and then the Tour de l’Ain”.
Guillermo Gutiérrez, director of the EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team Junior: “I am very happy for Nil, because he was fighting all the season for this great result and this Sunday he has been able to achieve it in one of the best possible stages, the queen stage of the Vuelta al Besaya. Nil is a rider with a great career and a great future. It has not been an easy edition for us, with the early withdrawals of David Puente and Joel Díaz, but Lucas Guillermo, Pedro García, Manuel Sanroma and César Pérez have multiplied to give Nil much more than a hand. This victory is theirs”.
[📷 Mónica del Campo]