The triumph of local Esdras Morales (Hino-One-Suzuki) in the eighth stage and the defense of Gerson Toc (Decorabaños) of his leadership brightened this Friday the eighth stage of the 62nd Cycling Tour of Guatemala, which will conclude next Sunday.

With two mountain passes categorized throughout the route, the Guatemalan runner took victory after launching a devastating attack in the final phase, then traveling 136.5 kilometers between towns of Mormostenango, Totonicapán, to the Pamezabal Village in the municipality of Santa Lucía Utatlán, Sololá.

Morales clocked three hours, eight minutes and 27 seconds, with an electrifying final sprint, to leave Colombian Juan Diego Alba (Movistar Best PC) 12 seconds ahead and Amílcar Méndez (As Quetzaltenango) 17 seconds behind.

Then came the chapín Alder Torres (Muni Fraijanes) at 29, the coffee grower Heiner Rodrigo Parra (Canel’s-ZeroUno-Mavic) at 39 and the Costa Rican Kevin Rivera (SevenCard Economy Lacoinex) at 42 seconds.

The champion of the last two editions, Mardoqueo Vásquez (Hino-One-Suzuki), entered seventh, 49 seconds behind, the same time as the Colombian Cristian Bustos (As Quetzaltenango), winner of the previous route.

At the end of the fraction, the winner expressed his satisfaction with what he had done today. “I had been looking for victory since the beginning of the Vuelta and in the end it was given to us. I was left empty as they say in cycling. In the end I pedaled with my heart because my legs couldn’t take it anymore, but I remembered that my family was waiting for me at the finish line,” Morales said.

For his part, Gerson Toc crossed the finish line in 13th place, 2:16 behind the leader, along with five other runners, including the young Sergio Chumil (Hino-One-Suzuki) and the experienced Ecuadorian Byron Guamá (Movistar Best PC).

The Guatemalan Bryan Ríos (As Quetzaltenango) starred in the intermediate distances by taking the three flying goal prizes and Parra the two mountain races.

The ninth stage of the tour tomorrow covers 133.8 kilometers from the village of Barraneche, in the Totonicapán municipality, department of the same name, to Cerro de la Cruz, Antigua Guatemala, Sacatepéquez.

Source: Agencia Prensa Latina y Revista Mundo Ciclístico