Italian cyclist Alessandro Tonelli (VBF) showed off this Wednesday with his teammate, Manuele Tarozzi (VBF), and became the first leader of the Vuelta a la Comunidad Valenciana (VCV) by finishing off a breakaway of more than 130 kilometers in which both he and his compatriot got rid of their rivals, soloed the Desert de les Pames and finished in a sprint in Castellón.

With an unofficial time of 4 hours, 4 minutes and 34 seconds, Tonelli beat his teammate and thus concluded a feat of the Italian continental team VF Group Bardiani-CSF Faizanè, which arrived with two riders who arrived with a minute and eight seconds over the third classified and almost two over the peloton, after getting rid of the other five members of a breakaway of seven that had escaped from the peloton 133 kilometers from the finish.

Third was Spaniard Oier Lazkano (MOV), who with a late attack on the descent of the last climb gained four bonus seconds by overtaking Dutchman Alex Molenaar (IBA), one of the participants in the day’s breakaway, at the finish line.

But although it ended up triumphing, the breakaway was slow to appear. In fact, it wasn’t until thirty kilometers after the start of the race in Benicàssim and after several attempts to build a breakaway when a group of up to five riders formed a breakaway that was joined minutes later by two more riders, all of them from Pro Teams and Continental Teams.

They were Spaniards Gorka Sorarrain (CJR), Francisco Muñoz (PTK) and Iñigo Elosegui (EKP), Dutch riders Jetse Bol (BBH) and Alex Molenaar (IBA) and Italians Tonelli and Tarozzi, who reached a margin of almost nine minutes with about 100 kilometers to go in a stage covering the 166-kilometer stretch between Benicàssim and Castellón.

In fact, the escapees easily overcame the Coll de La Bassa, third category, while behind it was Euskaltel-Euskadi, which had not been able to place any man in front, who tried to dominate the peloton but did not have much success to reduce the difference with the head of the race.

But when Bahrain-Victorious saw that the stage could be compromised, the team led by Spaniard Pello Bilbao and Slovenian Matej Mohoric began to pull with about 55 kilometers to go and from the almost eight minutes that the escapees had, they were down to three at the start of the Desert de les Palmes pass, the last climb of the day.

In fact, the pace that UAE Emirates Team decided to push, with Igor Arrieta, Felix Grosschartner or Pavel Sivakof at the start of the climb, seemed to be enough to catch the escapees.

However, just when everyone thought that the peloton’s surge was going to eliminate the gap between the front and the back of the field, Tonelli and Tarrozzi, both from VF Group, and Sorarrain (CJR) made a group of three and put together the ‘breakaway of the breakaway’ to stretch out the breakaway at least a few more kilometers.

The Italians kept pulling and left the Navarrese Sorarrain behind, while the lack of organization in the peloton allowed the Italians to maintain a reasonable distance that allowed them to reach the top of the Desert de les Palmes with more than two minutes of advantage.

Thus, they took advantage of the last kilometers of downhill and the following flat ones until reaching Castellón to continue pulling as if it were a time trial and squeezing until they reached the streets of the city, where they were already aware that one of the two would have to win the race, although at a traffic circle they made a wrong exit and got stuck for a few seconds with the tape that sealed that same exit.

In any case, both were able to redo the march and Tonelli ended up with the victory against a Tarozzi who did not sprint, leaving his compatriot and teammate with the stage victory on the first day of the Volta.

The first of the five days of the 75th anniversary of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana (VCV) covered a route of 166 kilometers between Benicàssim (Castellón) and Castellón, in a route that forced the cyclists to climb La Bandereta, of second category, the Coll de la Bassa, of third category, and the Desert de les Palmes.

The peloton of the race will have to cover 162.7 kilometers this Thursday from Canals to Mancom de la Valldigna and the day will have three mountain passes, of third category. The final point will be at Alto Pla de Corrals, where the main bunch will be segmented, just 10 kilometers from the finish. However, the riders who reach the dispute for the victory will have to face a hard descent before fighting for the victory.

Source: EFE y