Colombian leads Ruta del Sol as he crowns in Villarrodrigo a true exhibition by the Blues, with a stellar Héctor Carretero. Telefónica-backed squad up to 14 wins in 2021 -six for the men’s team.
The long times of suffering were finally left behind for Miguel Ángel López (Movistar Team) on Thursday. More than seven months after his crash in the 2020 Giro d’Italia; following a long recovery, unable to ride his bike until Christmas; suffering from covid, which sidelined him for an extra month; and out of racing until late April with the Tour de Romandie, the Pesca native was still able, in barely ten days of racing, to snatch a win for the Blues with a fantastic display at the Queen stage of the 2021 Vuelta a Andalucía -177km, with six categorized climbs, between Beas de Segura and Villarrodrigo-.
López started giving sense at the Collado de los Yesos (Cat-2), the day’s penultimate ascent, to the long, strong gamble made today by the José Luis Arrieta-led group, with Héctor Carretero joining the early break and the likes of Mora, Hollmann, Rojas, Serrano or Abner González picking up the pace behind to help their leader attack with less than 20km remaining. ‘Superman’ left behind the opposition from Carlos Rodríguez (IGD) and race leader Ethan Hayter; took himself to Carretero, who completed a five-star performance to support him through to the final kilometer; and didn’t have any problems to win the uphill sprint against Antwan Tolhoek (TJV, 2nd) and James Piccoli (ISN, 3rd).
Miguel Ángel is the new GC leader, with two days left in Andalusia, after claiming the men’s Movistar Team’s sixth success of the season, the 14th for the Abarca Sports organisation since the start of 2021. A year – more precisely, the last month and a half – which hasn’t stopped mixing grief and glory for the Blues.
REACTION / Miguel Ángel López (courtesy Eurosport):
“It’s a really special day. The team was magnificent today. It wasn’t to be yesterday, we came second, the finish was so hard, yet we started today with a plan to pay back the whole team after the work they’ve been doing from the very start of the race, and all team-mates were excellent again. Héctor was the key man today: we had him joining the breakaway, looking to have someone ahead to support after an attack, but all the other team-mates, Rojillas, Abner… did an impressive job so I only had to get myself to Carretero, for him to support me until the end. It was sensational.