The cantabrian Vuelta al Besaya came to an end this Sunday with a Belgian-dominated stage in which the riders of EOLO-KOMETA were hard at work to defend the interests of Miguel Domínguez, who ended up defending a place in the top 10 of the race tooth and nail. In the Gipuzkoa Itzulia, whose third stage was held later, a vibrant day of cycling in Andoain with double protagonism in the breakaway of the day for the junior structure of the Contador Foundation in the hands of Hugo Pradas and Iker Díaz, who would finally finish fourth and fifth at the finish.
Vuelta al Besaya
The Collada de Brenes dynamited the 2023 edition of the Vuelta al Besaya with an Acrog offensive led by Gibbe Staes and Jasper Schoofs. The Belgian pair, who had been involved in a movement of about thirty riders (four representatives of their team, a tactical display) that reached the base of the pass with just over a minute, counterattacked on its ramps to overcome the British Oscar Hawker (Bairrada), the first to move, and go ahead.
Gorka Beloki’s EOLO-KOMETA, who had worked in the run-up to the climb to reduce the breakaway, could not be present in the chasing group where the leader Aless De Bock (Acrog), Adrià Pericas (Europa-Tadesan), Pablo Lospitao (Vino-Electromercantil), Pablo Torres (Sanse) or Markel Beloki (MMR) remained.
Miguel Domínguez, who started eighth overall, lost ground on the Brenes ramps and could no longer close the gap, but he persevered in his particular fight and managed to retain tenth place in the classification.
Staes took the partial victory and Schoof the overall, while De Bock held on for third overall to complete an all-Belgian Acrog podium. Mario Gómez, in his first year in the category, managed to retain his first position in the overall ranking of Cantabrian cyclists.
A breakaway, around fifteen riders, marked the third stage of the Gipuzkoa Itzulia. A movement in which Hugo Pradas and Iker Díaz, first year juniors, were present and in which they were protagonists. This large group maintained a margin of around a minute during many stages of the day.
At the start of the last climb, Xoxoka, Hugo Pradas would move with three other companions. The advantages, always minimal, and with the finish line very close, meant that Aimar Alarcia, who was also very active in the breakaway, finally won the race with a minimal gap over Gerard Ginabreda (Finques Feliu) and Antonio Ramírez (Lucta), the new race leader.
Pradas and Diaz arrived immediately after, 16 seconds behind. Balint Feldhoffer, who defended himself well against the attacks in the leader’s group, finished 56″ behind the winner and remains in the upper part of the classification with one last final stage on Monday, as short in kilometres as it is demanding in terms of terrain.
[? Álvar Martín (1), Nacho Carrasco (2), @Mertxe_Beriain (3)]