39th Vuelta a Murcia
Stage 2: Beniel-Murcia (177.3 km)
It came as the main reference for the squad for this Vuelta a Murcia and on its roads gave the face. The Andalusian Juan Pedro López finished the Murcia round as the best classified in the general classification within the Kometa Cycling Team, the 32nd to 5:41 of the winner, after a second and last stage of great demand and high rhythm in which the Sevillian, after a great jump in the general classification, rolled in the group of the best in the decisive transit through the Sierra de Espuña. Always decisive, demanding when ascending it and also when facing its descent, as its descent is technical, the Collado Bermejo was fundamental in the development of the stage.
From the regional colossus, summit Marco Pantani, came a group of 35 units that in the posterior plain would grow to 40 riders. The ‘kometa’ Isaac Cantón, one of the protagonists of the first stage, fought unsuccessfully to reach this leading group and give more weight to the Madrid formation. Lopez would have a lot of presence in the vicinity of the ascent to the Cresta del Gallo, riding in the lead at the pace set by the Danish Jakob Fuglsang (Astana).
In the ascent to the Cresta del Gallo, the high rhythm imposed by Astana would have continuity in the work of Movistar and in the demarraje of Alejandro Valverde. That was the moment when López lost contact. The world champion was only followed by Luis León Sánchez, who would end up hunting him in the subsequent descent after having lost contact on the ascent. At the finish, Sánchez beat Valverde and scored the final general of the race.
Juan Pedro López would finish the stage in 33rd position, 2:48 from the winner. Canton, 58th in Gran Via Pintor Salcillo, would arrive at 12:27. At 16:53, 63rd, would arrive the Portuguese Daniel Viegas. Samuele Rubino, Antonio Puppio, Juan Camacho and José Antonio García would end up retiring during the final stage. López, weighed down by a mechanical problem at the end of the first stage, made an outstanding jump of 33 positions in the final overall during the second and last stage of the Vuelta a Murcia.
“The experience has been very good”, indicates a Puppio who faced his first experience in the continental category. “I learnt a lot from the pros. Unfortunately when there was the hardest hill of the stage I had to quit because of the high rythm. I can’t stay with the best even though I’m very satisfied about the race-pace i could have put in my leg”.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)