Superman is in the building! Miguel Angel Lopez was aware that the fifth stage of the Vuelta a San Juan it was for him a world showcase. And the Colombian gave his version of Dr. Jekyll to score a brilliant victory (he had not won since last April in the Tour of the Alps) in the Upper Colorado and leave the general of the Argentine round sentenced in the absence of the last two stages. Remco Evenepoel, great favourite, did not have the gas of the Colombians, who took the top positions except for a fantastic Filippo Ganna (2nd). Sergio Higuita was third, surpassing in the final meters a Egan Bernal (4th) that excites again
The stage started with a minute of silence as a tribute to Umberto Inselvini, masseur of Astana Qazaqstan who died in the last hours due to a heart attack during the concentration of the Kazakh team in Calpe. The strong gusts of favorable wind caused the runners to fly during the first two hours of the race, with a Average speed around 47 km/h. The peloton allowed a seven-rider breakaway from which Manuele Tarozzi (Bardiani) jumped several times, while the Ineos and Movistar, in relays, they began to reduce differences. The Italian wanted to play his tricks alone, but there was still Colorado…
In the approach to the beginning of the port, the still leader Gaviria was seen pulling the peloton, so the telephone bet was Einer Rubio. The question remained as to whether runners with a more rolling profile, such as a Ganna, who in past editions has already managed to finish in the top six in the Colorado, they would be able to face the legion of Colombians who started as favorites. Of course, with Evenepoel’s permission… In said approach to the final battlefield, there were fans In The Main Group, which considerably reduced the number of units in the lot. Of course, no favorite was affected.
The wind, also favorable in a very stretched ascent (4.4% on average), whose hardness lay in the distance (almost 19km) and altitude (more than 2,600 meters). The hostilities began with 14 km to go, at which time Team Medellín began to shoot at the block of the ‘roosters’ group. Remco saw the ears of the wolf and quickly positioned himself at the wheel of López to, 10 km from the finish, exemplify that of There is no better defense than a good offense. Very powerful change of pace with which he only managed to make an important selection, because as soon as the Ineos began to chase him quickly put the glove on him.
Suffocated the Belgian’s ordeal came the final firecracker. Superman did not think twice and, upon reaching the wheel of the leading men (Ganna, Bernal, Higuita and Einer), he launched a tremendous attack from behind to which only his compatriot Higuita could respond. With Evenepoel already off the hook after entering a crisis, the one from Medellín, without looking back or asking for relief, tortured the one from Bora until he was left in the lurch. Nobody could keep up with the devastating pace of Superman, whose performance was a full-fledged vindication that he is still one of the best climbers in the world. Hopefully the quagmire in which he finds himself is clarified, in favor of the show. The big races need him.