In a final for sprinters, Omar Fraile (Ineos Grenadies) took the victory of the last stage of the Tour of Andalusia, in which Tadej Pogacar, from the UAE Emirates Team, became the grand champion, while the Colombian Santiago Buitrago (Bahrain Victorious) finished third in the individual overall.
In the fifth and final stage, Buitrago stayed within the peloton and avoided setbacks so as not to lose places in the general classification. Like the Slovenian, he was protected by his team until the final meters of the race. In the end, he helped one of his teammates to launch at speed and arrive among the first.
The day, disputed between the Spanish towns of Otura and Alhaurín de la Torre over a route of 184.3 kilometers on undulating terrain, was defined with an exciting sprint that gave Fraile the winner. Alessandro Covi (UAE Team Emirates) and Pasqualon (Bahrain Victorious) completed the podium this Sunday.
The breakaway of the day was led by seven riders: Kevin Colleoni (Jayco AlUla), Erik Fetter (Eolo-Kometa), Xabier Isasa (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Dries Van Gestel (TotalEnergies), Vincent Van Hemelen (Flanders-Baloise), Dries De Bondt (Alpecin-Deceuninck) and Pascal Eenkhoorn (Lotto Dstny), but in the end they were neutralized by the peloton.
At the close, the Belgian rider Dries de Bondt was the protagonist waging an uneven battle against the peloton in the last kilometers, but with nine thousand meters to go his impossible mission ended.
In the last meters, Tadej Pogacar took the lead of the lot with Tim Wellens and Alessandro Covi at his wheel, the wearer of the yellow jersey pulled hard, for his teammate, however, the Italian could not finish the masterpiece when he saw himself surprised by Omar Fraile, who had the best legs in the final to take the victory.
The lot controlled the race in the final stretch, stopping attacks and leaving everything to the packing, in which the Spanish rider brilliantly took victory ahead of the Italians Alessandro Covi (UAE Team Emirates) and Andrea Pasqualon (Bahrain-Victorius ).
Santiago Buitrago, one of the representatives of Colombia in the race, remained among the leaders from the start and achieved another podium in his race. The 23-year-old from Bogotá stood out in the second stage, in which he reached the finish line in third place, but his highest point was at the opening of the 2023 Vuelta a Andalucía, being the only one who resisted Pogačar’s breakaways in the last kilometers and arriving fourth.
As for the general, there were no major changes. The Slovenian had no problems in the eventful final stage and took his first victory of the season quite easily, winning three stages. Pogacar climbed to the top of the podium, accompanied by the Bahrain-Victorius men, the Spanish Mikel Landa, who finished 2nd and the Colombian Santiago Buitrago 3rd.
Final General Classification
1.- Tadej Pogacar UAE Team Emirates 21:04:57
2.- Mikel Landa Bahrain – Victorious 1:23
3.- Santiago Buitrago Bahrain – Victorious 1:28
4.- Carlos Rodríguez INEOS Grenadiers 1:44
5.- Enric Mas Movistar Team 2:03
Source: AS y Revista Mundo Ciclístico