42nd Ronde de l´Isard
Stage 3: Mirepoix – Quérigut (141 km)
The ascent to the Col de Pailheres marked the development of this third stage of the Ronde de l´Isard, a terrible ascent, with achantan numbers. Almost twenty kilometres at an average slope of 8% were crowned at an altitude of almost 2,000 metres and with less than 17 kilometres ahead. A much harder obstacle due to the weather conditions that accompanied the cyclists again this Saturday for many kilometres. Three cyclists of the Kometa Cycling Team under23 finished in the top-25 of a stage that was a master of cycling for the demand and competition.
Jhon Stiven Ramirez, 18th, Carlos Garcia, 24th, and Edu Perez-Landaluce, 25th, were the best classified in a stage in which the Italian Colpack Andrea Bagioli reinforced his leadership with a new partial victory that materialized with important rents of time in his favor. The three, Ramirez, Garcia and Perez-Landaluce, always rode within a group chasing the head of the race, a group that fell apart in the climb to Pailheres. In the descent, the Colombian suffered a fall without consequences. “I cut myself from the leading group at the end of the pass, I risked a little on the descent to reconnect and in a curve I did a straight. In the end I’m very happy with the result and the sensations of today, because it’s a race of quite a level”, says Ramírez.
Beyond a neutralisation caused by a confusion in the route when half a hundred kilometres had been disputed, the development of the day followed similar paths to those of the previous day as far as the escape attempts are concerned, although the intermediate terrain was much harder and was noticeable in the evolution of the stage with a very broken race. “I didn’t have the best sensations, a very cold and hard day; and just at the beginning of the first pass I had to change my bike because the change didn’t work for me. The Pailheres is a tough one. At the end a 24rd position from which to learn and on which to continue improving”, adds Carlos Garcia.
Rafa Díaz Justo, director of the Kometa Cycling Team under23: “I am very happy with how the stage ended, because it has been a day in which we have had many mishaps. Carlos changed bikes in the first climb, Regueiro and Jhon Stiven suffered two falls… At times the race has been difficult for us. But the team went very, very well until the end. From yesterday’s stage to today’s you can see a jump. As the days go by we get more and more, we are a resistance team and these laps in stages as the days go by we get a little better each new day”.
La Ronde de l´Isard concludes this Sunday with a dangerous 154-kilometre stage that presents in its route the steps through Port de Lers and Col d´Agnes, chained in the first third of the stage, and the climb up to Col de Latrape, with its summit less than 40 kilometres to go.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)