The ascent to the Monte Castillo Cave in Puente Viesgo once again decided the final classification of a vibrant Vuelta a Cantabria that was very close at the third and final stage, the stage of the Pasiego journey. David Delgado (Cortizo) won the stage, making good the anticipation that he achieved with three other riders in the run-up to the last climb. And Daniel Cavia (Gomur) assaulted the leadership in that climb, finishing fourth and avoiding the ‘sorpaso’ in the general classification of Thomas Silva (Caja Rural) who had moved with Delgado. Haimar Etxeberria, with options of winning the race, finished fifth in the final stage and remained fourth overall.
The stage, with two major climbs in the Cantabrian Mountains such as El Caracol and La Braguía, and the situation of a general classification led by Alberto Álvarez (Extremadura) with up to ten riders within 10″ and Fran Muñoz at 52″, allowed for strategies to be deployed and attacks to be launched. Fran Muñoz, with the support of Luca Bagnara, led one before the Braguía, with a 30″ margin over the group of favourites, and Dani Cavia himself was in charge of bringing him down on a climb that, like the previous one, was crowned solo by Lucas Towers (Caja Rural), the protagonist of a great ride that came to an end with 18 kilometres to go. With this neutralisation by the leader’s group, a dynamic of accelerations and a carousel of movements; Muñoz then emptied himself in support of Etxeberria with a view to the last, and hard, climb.
Haimar Etxeberria: “We were close, but everything was very close and there were many of us who had a chance. The best thing is to see that we were there and, above all, the enormous work done by our team-mates throughout the day. Fran, after the regrouping after a distant move of his, did an enormous job to keep the group under control at a time when there was a lot of movement. Thanks to him we were able to control the finish a bit. I thank all my team-mates, especially Fran. On the final climb we were already strong, but shortly before Silva moved and that gap couldn’t be closed. Otherwise we would have been able to think about a second place both in the stage and in the overall. But this goes on and we are looking forward and motivated for the next objectives”.