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10 May 2019

Sánchez seizes the leader's jersey; García continues her reign over the region

The mountain bike racers rode beyond expectations in a stage where the last kilometers were decisive

May 10, 2019 – Logroño. The second day of the La Rioja Bike Race crowned José María Sánchez (BUFF®-Scott MTB Team) the leader in the men’s general classification followed by Vlad Dascalu (Brújula Bike Racing Team), and Ever Alejandro Gómez (Olympia Factory Cycling). In the women’s category, Rocío del Alba García (BH-Cafés Templo UCC) and Clàudia Galicia (Megamo Factory Team) owned it from start to finish, with the racer from La Rioja leading in the general classification by four minutes over Galicia, and more than 26 minutes over third placed, Hildegunn Hovdenak (VPG).


The second stage of the La Rioja Bike Race wouldn’t be forgotten by any of the riders who took to the start in Logroño. A fast, relatively flat starting section rolled through the La Pila mountain and circumnavigated the Logroño golf course. The starting kilometers allowed the pack to ride in a group.


Carlos Coloma (BH-Templo Cafés UCC) wanted to defend the first place he achieved yesterday. Riding today on familiar turf, the stage went through his hometown and he was able to maintain his lead from the start. With favorable terrain in the vicinity of Albelda de Iregua, the first climb near Viguera soon split up the peloton.


It was here where Vlad Dascalu (Brújula Bike Racing Team) ramped up the pace and started leading the stage, marked by the men of the BUFF®-Scott MTB Team: Miguel Muñoz, José María Sánchez, and Enrique Morcillo, who, same as in the first stage, controlled the front of the race.

In the elite women’s race, Rocío del Alba García (BH-Templo Cafés UCC) and Clàudia Galicia (Megamo Factory Team) played out a beautiful stage from the start. Riding grouped together, the 5-time champion Galicia pulled hard throughout the stage and lowered anticipated race times by a long shot. At the first checkpoint, both riders raced with a 4-minute lead ahead of the chasers.


With the end of stage nearby and, after passing through the second feed zone, Ever Alejandro Gómez (Olympia Factory Cycling) led the stage along with Vlad Dascalu (Brújula Bike Racing Team), and José María Sánchez (BUFF®-Scott MTB Team), putting two minutes into the chase group going into a descent.


The Nalda mountains were decisive in determining the stage outcome, with three spectacular and unprecedented descents: La Leñosa; the Senda Negra ending with Monolito; and Las Ruinas, finishing at Nalda and from there “flying” to Logroño. Here was when Sánchez decided to take a risk and descend quickly to solo to the finish line in Logroño.


Dascalu suffered the great work done by the men of the BUFF®-Scott MTB Team and, in the final descent, he ceded second place to Morcillo, which left the Romanian to close out the Men's Elite podium.


In Women’s Elite, there wasn’t much change from the start. At the end of the day, it was García and Galicia who jockeyed for first place in the final kilometers. García punched it to escape on the last climb with a plan to solo the return by the Pico del Águila, to take the stage win, and maintain her lead.

Elite Men's Classification

1. José María Sánchez  02:51:30

2. Enrique Morcillo 02:51:40

3. Vlad Dascalu  02:51:41

Elite Men's overall result

1. José María Sánchez  03:23:55

2. Vlad Dascalu  03:24:05

3. Ever Alejandro Gómez  03:24:24



Declarations
José María Sánchez: "It was a very fast stage. At the start, the terrain was rolling until the   midpoint, where it started to get harder and put racers in their place. I managed to make contact with the front of the race with 5k to go. I saw myself racing for the stage victory; I managed to open up a gap and, in the end, I was able to take the lead. Now I will try to defend it 'to death' until the last day."

Vlad Dascalu: "Five of us riders escaped in the first few kilometers. We relay raced almost the whole stage. When we reached the last summit, I tried to follow Ever (Gómez) who was pulling the group. I managed to enter the descent first, to open a gap, and then maintain it. In the end, my efforts failed me and those of the Buff team descended upon me like a motorcycle, they caught me, and I hung on for the podium until the finish.”

Elite Women's Classification

1. Rocío del Alba García 03:21:17

2. Clàudia Galicia 03:22:08

3. Sanne Van Paassen 03:37:17

 

Elite Women's overall result

1. Rocío del Alba García 04:00:36

2. Clàudia Galicia 04:02:03

3. Sanne Van Passen 04:19:30


Declarations

Rocío del Alba García: "It was a long, fast stage. I am very happy with the victory; I dedicate it to my team. Tomorrow will be the Queen Stage: the Buff stage. It will also be very hard, so now it's time to rest as much as possible."

Clàudia Galicia: "I'm very happy. I was very scared because it was a long stage and I haven’t trained for distance, but I felt good. I tried to be cautious and I can’t complain. //// The first 30 kms. we formed a group that set a rhythmic pace that some might call boring.But then when the climb started… there was nothing at all boring! We started out strong, I've already got my rhythm, I've been thinking about my performance the whole time, and enjoying myself." 

 

TOMORROW THE BUFF® SUPER STAGE (XCM). | 83.4 km and 2263 m of elevation gain

The stage start is identical to that of the previous day with wide, fast tracks that will lend to breaking up the peloton until reaching Viguera (the first feed zone), where racers will ride the famous Calzada Romana until Torrecilla en Cameros (the second feed zone). It’s an iconic, entertaining stretch on a closed route. After a linking stretch to Nestares, the day’s mighty climb begins upward toward the Moncalvillo antennas, which on this occasion will be singletrack. Immediately after summiting starts the descent toward Las Neveras (ending in Sojuela)  – undoubtedly one of this edition's most unforgettable sections. From Entrena (the third feed zone) to the finish, it's a relief. Racers will enjoy favorable trails in the vicinity of Logroño, rounding the Pico del Águila, before crossing La Pila mountain, and reaching the La Rioja Palacio de los Deportes.

 

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