High winds cancel Murcia stage

Valverde believes in Rojas

Valverde believes in Rojas (Image credit: Shane Stokes)

By Monika Prell

Organisers of the Vuelta a Murcia, along with commissaires, teams and riders, agreed to neutralize the second stage because of the continued strong, gusty winds that plagued the riders on stage one. The winds caused numerous crashes on Wednesday's opening stage, which was won by José Joaquín Rojas (Caisse d'Epargne).

In the place of what should have been a decisive stage, the riders rode only the last ten kilometres into Fortuna, crossing the finishing line together with no change in the overall classification. The riders decided to give the stage's prize money Isaac Gálvez’ family, the Caisse d’Epargne rider who died last November during the Gent Six Day in Belgium.

Alejandro Valverde, the teammate of Rojas, commented to todociclismo.com that the suspension of the stage "is not bad for Rojas, even if it is not a gift, he showed already that he is very strong." But he said he felt sorry that "the spectacle of the famous altos de Espuña y Collado Bermejo could not take place today."

"Rojas is very strong, and I have also a good form. I don't know what can happen in this edition. I think that the decisive stage will now be the time trial on the second to last stage. I hope that the wind won't bother us for the rest of the race."

Friday's 146 kilometre third stage between Puerto Lumbreras and San Pedro del Pinatar will run over the Alto de Purias and the Alto de Cedacero, both category three climbs, but very far from the finish, so a bunch sprint can be expected.

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