By Joel García
Venezuelan Anthony Brea consolidated himself as the best sprinter of America in the 32nd Cuba Cycling Tour by winning the second stage, where Spanish Víctor Gómez kept the leader's jersey by placing third in the stage concluded in Santigo de Cuba.
The winner of the sprints in the past Tour of Tachira in Venezuela, did not believe in the pre-competition favouritism of local Pedro Pablo Pérez – he had won the segment three times – and brought out the necessary strength to finish off in the last 500 metres ahead of Mexican Juan Magallanes.
The stage was run with continuous attacks from the start, above all by the local teams, which won two intermediate finishes, the first in La Maya with Reldys Pérez (ISCF-Cuba) and the second in La Ciudad Escolar 26 de Julio with Vicente Sanabria of Matanzas. The win in Songo went to Venezuelan Carlos Ochoa, one of the men set to lead the overall individual standings.
"I am very happy with the victory and can say in advance that I'll fight for more bonus sprints in this Tour, because I am very strong in the finishes and I want to become the best of America in the sprints," declared Anthony Brea, who hopes to race someday in the Giro d'Italia and in the World Championships.
Without big changes in the overall standings – Gómez and Brea are equal on the overall – the tour is becoming highly competitive, while the Cubans are trying to determine how to break the foreign dominance not only imposed by Venezuelans and Spaniards, but by Mexicans, Canadians and Germans.
On Thursday, the 129 contestants remaining in the classic will contest the 125 kilometres between Santiago de Cuba and Bayamo, with a mountain prize in Puerto Moya and three intermediate finishes in Palma Soriano, Contramaestre and Jiguaní.
According to Roberto Santalla, head coach of the national squad, his boys are not worried and are confident of the victory of its leader Pedro Pablo Pérez, fourth overall in the individual standings at 8 seconds, along with Mexican Juan Magallanes.
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