Mountain goats trump time trialers in Colombia

After a dominating start of Rock Racing in the prologue, with the team occupying the first four...

After a dominating start of Rock Racing in the prologue, with the team occupying the first four places via Santiago Boero, Victor Hugo Peña, Oscar Sevilla and Tyler Hamilton, the first hilly road stage was a different affair. The stage was won by Venezuelan Arthur Garcia of Loteria del Tachira, who beat Colombia es Pasión's Rafael Montiel in a sprint of a four-man group. The best Rock racer in the vertical affair was Oscar Sevilla, in eighth place and almost a minute behind the day's winner.

Rock Racing had to initiate the chase, once a group of some 20 riders had a lead of over six minutes. But they couldn't close the gap all the way to the front runners, who left the escape group before they were caught by the US team.

Montiel said after the stage that "I was feeling very well the whole way; I found myself in the break that got a lead of over six minutes to the main bunch and in the finale I responded in the descent to Bucaramanga... I lost by a small margin and I want to thank all the riders and the staff on the team, who have done an excellent job today."

Carlos Ospina of Gw Shimano - EPM is the new leader in the overall, with Montiel in fourth, while Sevilla slipped down to sixth place. The Spaniard has still all the chances, as his 48-second deficit is not impossible to make up in the hilly stages ahead.

The Vuelta a Colombia runs until May 25.

Back to top