IX Volta a la Provincia de Valencia
Stage 1: Valencia – Riba-roja de Túria (130.5 km)
Mallorcan Joan Martí Bennassar tried to surprise the leading group in the closing stages of the first stage of the Volta a Valencia with an acceleration a kilometre and a half from the end in which he was joined by Catalan Gerard Armillas (Colpack). The Balearic cyclist, integrated into the dynamics of sprint, finished ninth in a finish in which the Alicante Felipe Orts (Mutua Levante), a great specialist in the field of cyclo-cross, won. The Italian Alessandro Fancellu and Alejandro Ropero also faced the sprint in a very good position, finishing twelfth and fourteenth, respectively.
The presence of three cyclists among the first fifteen allowed the Kometa Cycling Team to finish this inaugural day in an interesting second position in the overall team, a circumstance that also came to give visibility to the great work done by the Madrid team throughout the day.
The stage was played at a very high pace and a good example of this was the final average: 44.6 km/h. The presence of wind in the first kilometers brought more nervousness to the first third of it, moments in which the attacks were happening in a context of minimal differences. On the way to the final circuit of 37 kilometres, where the riders had to complete four laps, a group of twenty-two units was formed in which Bennassar, Ropero and Carlos García were present. One of so many movements that would take place.
With fifteen cyclists in the vanguard at the height of kilometre 70, consolidated at the front with more than three minutes of margin, the Kometa Cycling Team would take the reins to work at the front of the pack. Between the U23 team of the Alberto Contador Foundation and the Caja Rural, a few kilometres later, they would feed a fan of thirty-five units that would end up chasing the escape and risking the partial victory; in that group, besides Bennassar, there were Ropero, Fancellu, Sergio García, Carlos García and Eduardo Pérez-Landaluce. Before, however, would come the attack of Bennassar. In the leading group were also the junior cyclists, enrolled in the Spanish selection of their category, Raul Garcia and Carlos Rodriguez.
“It was a pity that in the last roundabout we were a little slowed down by a motorbike of the Guardia Civil both Armillas and me. If that wasn’t the case, he would probably have finished second, because Gerard is faster than me. He had attacked a kilometre and a half from the end and a little later he came from behind”, says a Bennassar who faces the time trial in a good position this Friday, with start and finish in Lliria. “We have tried to control the stage together with Caja Rural. Around kilometre 70 we mounted a fan which they read well, but which eliminated an aspirant for the general classification like Eloy Teruel. Facing the end Alejandro Ropero could not enter well and was unable to finish”, concludes Rafa Díaz Justo, director of the Kometa Cycling Team.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)