55° Giro Ciclístico Internazionale della Valle d’Aosta – Mont Blanc
Stage 4: Valtournenche – Breuil Cervinia (109,8 km)
In its first season as a continental team, the Giro della Valle d´Aosta had become one of the major events on the Polartec-Kometa calendar, along with the Giro d’Italia U23 and the upcoming Tour of Hungary. A special race of great harshness due to the great amount of mountains that mark its stages and where its outstanding runners usually find a trampoline to other sports structures.
“Where the champions born,” their motto reads. Where champions are born. The Dutchman Kevin Inkelaar, who rose to the lead in the penultimate stage, postulated for the same after winning the first day online, came close to winning the final overall of the Giro d’Aosta on Sunday. The Polartec-Kometa rider finally finished second overall, 1:24 behind Kazakh Vadim Pronskiy (Astana City).
Ponskiy, with an attack in the final ascent of Cervinia, revolutionised a race during which the leader’s Polartec-Kometa and the ultimately winning Astana City had alternated in control of the main group. Some, to maintain some order. Others, to lay the foundations for a revolution. On the way to Cervinia Ponskiy he tried it, an offensive that generated many moves that Inkelaar could not respond to with the reliability of previous days. In a day where Miguel Angel Ballesteros and Juan Pedro Lopez went out of their way to defend their leadership, Lopez emerged in the final ascent as a handle to defend the podium, something he was able to achieve. Inkelaar would hold out in second place for 20 seconds. Juan Pedro Lopez, for his part, would fall to seventh place in the standings. The continental Polartec-Kometa, however, managed to resist at the head of the team general classification, a secondary classification always highly valued in the squad of the Contador Foundation for its significance.
Jesús Hernández, director: “We knew that today was not going to be an easy day. And so it was. The level is very high and we started with three cyclists. Kevin didn’t have his best day and in the end he missed the race, but he did know how to defend himself very well with the invaluable help of Juanpe and Ballesteros. Juanpe has done all the last port pulling Kevin and thanks to that work has been able to retain a place on the podium. Crossbowmen, before, had been in the lead all day, working for their colleagues. Obviously, winning is always good, but we have to keep the positive. The boys’ performance was very good, we finished as the best team in one of the highest level races on the international amateur scene…. If before coming I had to sign a stage, a day of leadership, a second place finish and a first place in the team standings, without a doubt I would have signed”.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)