Vuelta a Navarra
Stage 4: Sarriguren-Alto de Muskilda (130,3 km)
Cycling always has a winner, but on that road, in that quest, there are so many intra-stories. The one Carlos García signed for Polartec-Kometa U23 on Saturday on the roads of Navarre is a brilliant story. For the future. The Spaniard, in his first year in the category, set a sensational stage in which he displayed his quality with a commendable comeback that brought him back into the race when the most difficult thing was to re-engage in it. A lesson in perseverance and legs. The Italian Francesco Romano (Colpack) won the stage and rose to the lead. Garcia, eighth to 29 seconds from the winner, occupies the same position in the standings.
A very hard stage, with seven paces for the Grand Prix of the mountain and a very bad weather. At first, the Mallorcan Joan Martí Bennassar gave the team a presence and peace of mind and managed to get into the quartet that he rode at the head of the race for many kilometres. The end of this breakaway marked the beginning of a new stage, full of attacks and accelerations, in a context of a totally broken race, dismembered in many small groups.
Carlos Garcia, the team’s best asset in the standings, was hit by an untimely breakdown, a touch of a rival wheel that broke his gear and chain and left him far behind the head of the race just before of the demanding climb to the Alto de Orbaiceta. Supported by all his team-mates, who stayed with him, Carlos Garcia started a comeback when he was more than a minute away from the race head. After a last effort by Daniel Viegas, García took the reins of the first-person chase for a dozen kilometers and, inside a small group, he managed to reach the top of the race with another seven riders to form a group of twenty units that reached the final ascent.
Rafa Díaz Justo, director: “I have never seen anything like it in my life. When we were able to give him the bike we were on a concrete stretch where the cars could not pass. The mechanic on the way threw himself into the car to carry his bike in his hand, got on the bike almost crying and almost crying and went the first kilometre. But right away he started to take people and the team climbed up the ladder. The last rider to stay with him was Viegas, but then he did about ten or fifteen kilometres by himself until he got to the front. And he’s got the head of the race. And he’s made it into the top ten of the stage. I’ve been on the bike for many years and I’ve never seen anything like it: a kid of his age, in this category and in this race”.
The Vuelta a Navarra 2018 concludes this Sunday with a 93.4 kilometre stage between Aoiz and Pamplona. Carlos Garcia Pierna is eighth, 45 seconds behind the leader.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)