The Ecuadorian Jonathan Caicedo (Petrolike) won Saturday the fourth stage and kept the yellow leader’s jersey, so he is one step away from becoming the champion of the Vuelta Ciclística Bantrab in Guatemala.

The South American faced the difficult 105 kilometers, between the municipalities of Catarina and San Rafael Pie de la Cuesta, in the department of San Marcos, with enough power to prevent any new strategy of the army of more than 30 Colombians.

The winner of the Vuelta al Táchira, Venezuela, last January, also winner of the second stage here and number two the day before, had enough strength to finish a few meters from the finish line and get two hours, 49 minutes and 50 seconds.

Behind came the Colombian riders Javier Jamaica (Team Medellín), two seconds behind; Daniel Méndez (NU Colombia), five seconds behind; and the host Mardoqueo Vázquez (Hino One La Red), 13 seconds behind, the same time of the pre-race favorite Rodrigo Contreras (NU Colombia).

A peloton led the race for a good stretch, including Colombians Daniel Arroyave (GW Erco Shimano), Víctor Ocampo (Team Medellín-EPM) and Emanuel Castro (Costa Rica National Team).

In addition, teammates Franklin Archibold and Randish Lorenzo (Panama es Cultura y Valores), as well as Julio Padilla (Red Hook Guatemala), but the favorites caught them when the route reached its peak.

Caicedo is followed in the overall individual classification at 29 seconds by Méndez and Jamaica at 2:43, while Contreras, champion of the Tour of his country at the beginning of last February, fell to 2:44, fourth. The list of the flying goals is now led by Archibold with 18 points, home rider Julio Padilla (Red Hook) with 16 and Colombian Oscar Quiroz (NU Colombia) with 14 points.

Caicedo leads the mountains with 23 points, Méndez maintained his 14 and Contreras added 13. Gabriel Pacheco (Costa Rica National Team) assaulted the U-23 classification, while behind was Ecuador’s Erick Fernando Pozo (Best PC) at 6:34 and the Colombian Cristian Vélez (GW Erco Shimano) at 10:41.

The NU Colombia managed to reach the top by teams, now well separated at 7:15 of Petrolike and 13:56 of Team Medellin. Tomorrow the third edition of the hotly contested Guatemalan event, category 2.2 UCI, but with enough talent for 2.1, will finish.

The fifth stage will be equally demanding with its 122.8 kilometers from Ayutla, San Marcos, to Quetzaltenango, where the new title holder will start.

The trophy of the inaugural edition in 2022 was lifted by the Colombian Heiner Parra and in the last one by the 46-year-old Spanish veteran Oscar Sevilla, who took part in the race but withdrew in the previous stage.

The competition is one of the most important of the continental calendar and awards points for the international ranking, so the foreign teams arrived with their top figures.

Vuelta Bantrab Guatemala
Results stage 4 | Catarina -> San Rafael Pie De La Cuesta (105,0 km)

1Jonathan Caicedo *EcuadorForte Petrolike – Androni Giocattoli2:49:50
2Javier Jamaica *ColombiaTeam Medellín-EPM0:02
3Daniel Méndez *ColombiaNu Colombia0:05
4Mardoqueo Vásquez *GuatemalaHino-One-La Red-Tigo-Suzuki0:13
5Rodrigo Contreras *ColombiaNu Colombia0:13
6Sergio Henao *ColombiaNu Colombia0:56
7Juan Carlos López*ColombiaGW Erco Shimano1:21
8José Canastuj *GuatemalaHino-One-La Red-Tigo-Suzuki1:21
9Byron Guama *EcuadorMovistar-Best PC1:31
10Alex Julajuj *GuatemalaRed Hook Guatemala1:35

Source: Agencia Prensa Latina