Great climb to Carlos García’s Pandetrave, fourth in the stage and third in the general with Ancares on the horizon

XXX Vuelta Ciclista a León
Stage 2: Cármenes – Boca de Huérgano (153 km)

The passage of cycling races through the valley of Valdeón would have to be one of the great scenarios of cycling. The climbs to Panderrueda and Pandetrave provide unbeatable possibilities for the design of stages given their proximity and difficulty. The sublime surroundings of a majestic Cantabrian Mountain Range for those payments would contribute the rest. Variety in the typology of the climbs and stages for the collective cyclist imaginary. The Vuelta a León claimed it this Wednesday during its third stage. And there the Madrid-born Carlos García shone during a tactical movement that allowed him to finish fourth in Boca de Huérgano. One day from Ancares, the Spaniard jumps to third place in the general standings, with the same time as the leader. The team Kometa rose to the podium as the best team of the day.

And after winning the stage that leader is the Catalan Gerard Armillas (Colpack), the fastest among the four cyclists who played the victory in the village of the Montaña Oriental leonesa. The quartet, with Carlos García present and participant, was conceived in the final part of Pandetrave and in the first bars of his descent tended and fast, when Samuel Blanco arrived from behind. Armillas, Blanco, Kazakh Sergey Shatovkin (UCI) and García rolled with a certain margin over a group of twenty-five runners and more than three minutes over a platoon in which they flew to the rhythm of the Lizarte. The four worked hard in the containment work and arrived in Boca de Huérgano with a thirty seconds. A small revolution in the general classification and a good day for the team.

The great ascent of Carlos García to the Port of Pandetrave, ten kilometers at 6.2% according to the data of Marce Montero, three thousand initial meters very demanding in any case, was crucial for the development of the stage. The Spaniard ended up standing out in the chase of Armillas and Shatovkin very soon; and in that harder part he managed to cut up to a minute and a half. His rhythm allowed him to leave behind his teammate Sergio García (Kometa Cycling TEam) and Roger Adriá (Lizarte) very soon. First Sergio, without being able to ride well with problems in one of his shoes, then Adriá. The one from Tres Cantos would end up taking the leak. Behind, up to four riders (Alejandro Ropero, Sergio García, Alessandro Fancellu, Álex Martín) rode in the group of twenty-three units that reached the finish line after the escape.

Before Carlos García’s great ascent to Pandetrave, which culminated in first place under the banner of the Alto, the Kometa Cycling Team had been the protagonist of the development of the stage through Alejandro Ropero. The Otura rider was included in an escape of five riders in the early stages of the day. The Italian Alessandro Fancellu picked up his baton in another later movement, the quartet of which both Armillas and Shatovkin would end up catapulting forward, with a guarantee of up to five minutes of margin. In another moment, in the terrain between Las Señales and Panderrueda, the fortnight of units in which Sergio and Carlos García and Roger Adriá were present was finally created.

“The truth is that the flat terrain had to make a lot of effort to reach Roger Adria and my teammate Sergio Garcia. The three of us made our way and when we were going up Pandetrave I squeezed a little in the rhythm and I went alone. On the radio they sang to me the advantage of the runaways and we started to try to catch them before the top”, explains Carlos Garcia, new leader of the secondary general of combativity. “I’ve been cutting back and in the end I was able to crown the top first. My breakaway teammates came from the long escape, with all the wear and tear that implies, but it has been harder for me than for them the safe end. Lizarte was pulling very hard from behind. But in the end we were able to get an income and we hope it can be worth for the whole lap”.

“As soon as I started the race there was a snag in the pack and I got the cove in the wheel of another and I broke. I had to put on the spare shoe, but the coves were different, a mistake of mine,” said Sergio Garcia. “Later, on the descent from Puerto de las Señales, we set up a group of about fifteen riders and managed to leave. Carlos and I were shooting there. In the group there was not much understanding and I decided to start. I went alone, but from behind came Roger Adriá and then Carlos. The three of us were at the top. At the foot of the port I had some cramps. It was time to suffer with the group of favorites. The legs problems, in short, gave me the day and I’m sure it was because of the change of position”.

Rafa Diaz Justo, director of the Kometa Cycling Team: “A day that has been complicated strategically was over. There was a leak with dangerous people who ended up having a lot of people on the ropes all day long. Already in the harbour area I moved Fancellu to file time. In the stretch between the first and second climb several riders have left, Carlos and Sergio between them. Sergio had a problem with one of his slippers after having to change it after a fall. Carlos in the end ended up going alone, reaching the leak. And behind, in a group of twenty riders, we had four other riders. You have to be happy with how this stage went”.

This Thursday arrives the tremendous final in the Port of Ancares, in a fourth designated as queen stage by the entity of the port that receives the arrival. Cycling is known for its ascent from Galician lands, but this Candín slope has very important numbers. Eight kilometres with an average slope of 8.8% according to the measurement, but the particularity of concentrating its hardness in the last five kilometres: the average slope is 12%. Carlos García faces the stage in third place in the general classification. Alessandro Fancellu, sixth, Sergio García, eighth; Edu Pére-Landaluce, twentieth, is 33 seconds from the yellow jersey.

(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)

📸 Andrew Peat