From Omar Fraile to Pello Bilbao. From July 21, 2018 in Mende to July 11, 2023 in Issoire. The one from Bahrain ended the drought of Spanish cycling without a stage win, which reached the figure of 100 last Sunday at the Puy de Dôme. “I was super psyched up after the rest day. We had a special motivation and I was not going to stop until I got it. I didn’t care about the general, I just wanted to win a stage and here I have it. It was hard for me to control the situation. I was on the edge. It was a day to go full throttle. I leaked in the escape and it was clear to me. I only thought about winning. Thank you very much to the team and to Mader for giving me this inspiration,” Pello said, his voice cracking and his eyes glassy. remembering his partner who passed away last June.
The Basque was the most watched among the small final group and, even so, he was able to assert his superiority in that reduced sprint. “Neilands made a surprising attack, perhaps it was the strongest, but it expended more energy. We collaborated behind and I knew that I was the fastest. I controlled the gap with O’Connor first and then followed Zimmerman’s wheel into the sprint. In the last 200 meters I didn’t think about anything”, analyzed the one from Bahrain. It was a few hard weeks until we reached the Bilbao exit. “My family helped me a lot to stay calm and have the best mentality possible on this Tour. The first victory here after thirteen years as a professional is special”.
In addition, Pello Bilbao climbs greatly in the general and is in fifth position: “The podium right now is secondary. It may be that in the third week I will see myself there with legs to do a good general, but this expense was tremendous. I hope to have a calm day tomorrow and be able to recover”. The day of this Wednesday will be propitious for a sprint.