The King Surrenders Place of Honour

Diego Tamayo was overtaken on the longest stage of this tour. The Cuban Olga Echenique is leading the women’s general standings

By: Norland Rosendo

Email: digital@juventudrebelde.cu

2015-12-09 | 13:03:42 EST
Titan Tropic 2015Titan Tropic 2015 Photo: Calixto N. LlanesZoom

VIÑALES, Pinar del Río.— The 127 cyclists who took part in the third stage of the Titan Tropic this Tuesday had to change down the gears. They faced up to Soroa, an uphill climb of about two kilometers from the start line which took them to blood sweat and tears very early into the race.

This way the longest stage in this tour started, a 119 km segment between Soroa and Viñales, which concluded for the first time having a new winner other than Diego Tamayo. But the Colombian had the same time as the winner and kept the leadership.

Just like the previous day Tamayo contended in cahoots with Roberto Bou to break away from the pack in the first part of the race. He knew the Cuban José Mojica was going to chase after them closely and a coordinated strategy between the two would reduce the chances of the host in this stage to nothing.

Mojica was not able to keep pace. He struggled but he couldn’t. He went unaccompanied a long way, and in this type of race loneliness is not good. He was overtaken by Spain’s José Luis Carrasco and Ibon Zugasti, who chased after the escapees in a mad rush.

Carrasco and Zugasti did not slow down until they caught up with the leaders when they were short of 20 kilometers. The four biked together through the green fields, leaving behind the steep slopes and rivers of the first part of the stage.

Later on, Roberto fell behind. He had done his job in the Alliance with Tamayo, and nobody would take his orange jersey. They were approaching the finish line and were drained of energy. There was too little for a sprint.

Trying not to repeat the same end of the second day,  Tamayo and Carrasco “swapped” the order. The Colombian relinquished the lead to the Andalusian. But Zugasti did not play along with him and for third consecutive time. The three contenders timed 4:16.36 hours.

Carrasco, aged 33, felt the success like a reward. He fell three times in the mud yesterday and couldn’t enjoy the landscape when they were just some meters below the clouds. He was just focused on advancing.

At the end, all the Cubans came in within the first 15 and hold the second place in the general standing of teams. Mojica finished fifth, 11.52 min. behind. Yasmani Balmaceda and César Rodríguez were seventh and eighth respectively, both 22.42 min later.

The individual general standing is led by Tamayo (9:39.01 hours), Zugasti is ranked second, half a minute behind, and Carrasco 3.38 min behind. Mojica dropped to fifth place 22.06 min later.

Among the ladies, Olga Echenique continues to lead the standings after she came in head to head with Spain’s Mireia Barbera. Although both registered 6:12.58 hours, the foreign competitor won by a whisker on the finish line.

Olga is the absolute leader in the women’s general standing, with13:48.44 hours. Meanwhile, Danai Martínez had a bad hair day and is ranked fourth 21.25 min. behind her compatriot.

Today the penultimate day will be a 73 km-run around Viñales Valley. 

Translated by ESTI   

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