The Astana team cyclist rose to fourth place in the general classification. 

The Astana team cyclist rose to fourth place in the general classification. 

Boyacense Miguel Ángel López rose to fourth place in the general classification of the Vuelta a Españaand hopes to finish within the five best of the race – privileged positions in which the Colombians have finished on 19 occasions – on Sunday, when the test ends.

Fabio ParraHe is the country's rider with the most positions in the top five of the Vuelta, as he has appeared five times.

(Miguel 'Supermán' López is already fourth and close to the podium of the Vuelta)

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'Condorito', the precursor

Parra was fifth in the 1985 edition, second in 1989 and fifth in 1988, 1990 and 1991, confirming his enormous regularity.

The first Colombian to finish in those privileged positions was Édgar 'Condorito' Corredor, who was fifth in the 1984 competition.

And on six occasions the country's cycling has placed two riders within the 'top' 5, which confirms that of the three great Giro d'Italia, Tour France and Vuelta a España, the latter is the one with the best results.

In 1985, Francisco Rodríguez was third and Parra fifth. Two years laterLuis Herrerawas the champion and the fifth was Óscar de Jesús Vargas.

The cyclist of the Astana team rose to fourth place in the general classification. 

In 1989, Parra was second and Vargas third, while Nairo was fourth and Esteban Chavesfifth in the 2015 Vuelta. The two repeated in 2016, Quintana was first and Chaves third.

The last time this happened was in the 2019 competition: Nairo finished fourth and López was fifth.

Today's reality

Rigoberto Urán defended in the best way the ninth place in the general in a great effort, because he had arrests even to attack on the final climb.

The EF team rider is 9 minutes and 56 seconds behind the solid leader, Remco Evenepoel, and if he ends up there, Colombian cycling would adjust the top 10 number 34 in the history of the Vuelta.

López can advance further, since he is only 42 seconds away from third place on the podium, which is occupied by the Spaniard, Juan Ayuso, three days from the end of the race.

On Thursday, López saw himself pedaling heavily, but tomorrow he will have the option of fighting to move up one square or, at least, keep his fourth square to achieve that round number.

'Supermán' López is looking for his third top 5, since he was third in the 2018 Vuelta and fifth in 2019 and this time he has many options to finish in that select cluster. If he succeeds, he will equal Nairo Quintana, who has been first in 2016, fourth in 2014 and 2015.

Mountain stage

López will have an opportunity this Saturday to go for the third place on the podium, when the stage ends in the port of Puerto de Navacerrada, six kilometers after crowning the first category mountain prize.

“Our strong team handled the UAE attack. When Miguel attacked with 2 km to go, Ayuso was in trouble”, commented Stefano Zanini, one of the sports directors of the Astana team, in which López is the leader.

The cyclist of the Astana team rose to fourth place in the general classification. 

And he added: “All this is interesting for the next few days. 42 seconds to the final podium is a lot, but in a third week strange things can happen”.
López did not have a good start, he was in the 32nd place in the classification, but he began to climb from the beginning of the second week with the high mountain stages.

“We are ready to do our best at the end of this competition. The team is doing well and they help me to achieve the objective of climbing higher in the classification, which is our great objective”, specified the 28-year-old cyclist from Boyacá.

This Friday, the Vuelta will have a short stage of 138 kilometers, starting and finishing in Talavera de la Reina, with two second category mountain passes, but far from the finish .

(Vuelta a España 2022: this is how the classifications go, after stage 18)
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Lisandro Rengifo
Editor of EL TIEMPO