Sagan wins in Mataró.Toni Albir / EFE
In Mataró, sprint and victory for Peter Sagan, and Alejandro Valverde is so happy that he runs fast to congratulate the Slovak three-time world champion who put him on the podium of the World Cup in Innsbruck 2018 the medal of gold. He is 10 years younger than the Murcian (31 and 41 almost), but Sagan is also part of the generation that wants to sweep the new zoomer cycling, represented in the sixth stage by the crazy horse Rémi Cavagna, 25 years old, the tremendous Deceunick wheeler, capable in just 12 kilometers of attacking twice a platoon that was rolling at 70 per hour, of jumping to abort Lobato's attack in the last kilometer and of unintentionally launching the sprint to Sagan, who easily surpassed Impey and Molano on a light uphill straight, the way he likes them .
And that's why Valverde is happy, fourth overall, just 14s from the podium occupied by three Ineos runners (Adam Yates, Richie Porte and Geraint Thomas, in that order), because Sagan motivates him, due to the generational vindication of the great Slovak , and, of course, for his recovery from the covid that he began to suffer in February, marked by his victory in the Volta a Catalunya , a race in which he is to accumulate kilometers and because he did not see himself prepared to dispute the triumphs in the holy fortnight of pavés, the Flemish and French classics in which he is also a specialist. "I arrived in Catalonia without a rest day after the Tirreno-Adriatico and the Milan-San Remo and the Volta have been six very tough stages, so I'm a bit tired," says the winner of the Roubaix and Flanders. “But I am very happy to win again, especially after the two bad months that I have spent with the covid.”
110 years ago, the Volta brought modernity to Spain
Valverde and Sagan are two winners who love each other, The most winners of the peloton so far, 130 victories for the Murcian, 115 for the Bora rider, including that of Mataró, the first of the year 2021 after a 2020 in which he obtained so many second places (13) that until in the tenth stage del Giro did not get his first victory (and on the run) and began to jokingly call him the Poulidor of the 21st century. And new dazzling phenomena – Evenepoel, Van Aert, Van der Poel – stole the hearts of their fans.
The Spanish fan has not yet found phenomena that can resemble Valverde, although encouraging news reaches him from Italy and San Marino. There, the young national boomers continue to amaze. The Toledo Javier Romo, who has come to Astana at the age of 21 having run only three cycling races as an under 23 because until then he was one of the great promises of the Spanish triathlon, finished second the fourth stage of the Settimana Coppi e Bartali and has concluded fifth overall, 39s behind Danish Jonas Vingegaard, a 24-year-old phenomenon who already stood out on the Angliru stage last Vuelta. And in the last stage, the Alicante Juan Ayuso, already sixth in the fourth stage, was fifth. Ayuso runs in the Italian Colpack, on loan from the UAE, and although he is still at a youth age (18 years old), his progression and strength are such that Tadej Pogacar's team, with whom he shares a coach, is seriously thinking about raising him to the WorldTour level. . A third young Spaniard who shone in Italy, the 20-year-old from Granada, Carlos Rodríguez, at Ineos, had to retire after breaking his collarbone in a fall on Friday.
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The Catalan race ends on Sunday with an ascent to the castle of Montjuïc, in Barcelona in which if it seems difficult for Yates to lose the leadership, Valverde can attack the podium.
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