Martin Gilbert claimed the first win for Spidertech powered by Planet Energy at the UCI 2.2 Vuelta Ciclista del Uruguay, taking the final sprint in the 170km-long stage 8. He outsprinted Roderyck Asconegui (URU-Porongos) and Piotr Krajewski (Mroz Activejet) for his third victory of the season, following his two wins in the Vuelta a Cuba in February.
“Today, we were patient until the city entrance. Simon Lambert-Lemay and Mark Batty had to make sure that Guillaume, Keven and myself were not in the wind and that we would be the first to enter the city. With one kilometer to go, it was chaos because of the road surface but Guillaume did a perfect job to keep Keven and I at the front.” Gilbert told sportcom after the race.
“Then, Keven was at the front with 400 meters to go and I launched with 250 meters to go. I was in the ideal position to launch my sprint and if I hadn’t won, let’s say that I would have had to explains things to my teammates because they did their work.” laughed Gilbert. “Our tactics worked 100% and everyone did their job perfectly.”
Though it was their first win after 8 stages, it wasn’t for a lack of trying. On Monday, Guillaume Boivin finished third on stage 4, a 198-km long stage from Durazno to Tacuarembó. Keven Lacombe made his way into a break that stayed away for 100 km to be caught in the final 10 km. On Friday, all the pieces came together including Lacombe who has been fighting an eye infection for the past three days.
“Since the start of the competition, we have lacked patience. Our teammate Andrew Randell got sick at the start and we have been five guys, which makes a difference. In South America, we don’t really know the other teams nor the finishes. Today, we were able to visualize the final 2-3 kilometers and we were able to prepare our plans.” explained Gilbert.
Spidertech-Planet Energy is not the only North American team racing in Uruguay as defending champion Scott Zwizanski and his Kelly Benefit Strategies are back to try and win the overall once again. Zwizanski finished second in the downhill 35.5 km TT, on split stage 7.
Uruguayan Richard Mascarañas (Alas Rojas de Santa Lucía) leads the GC after 8 stages. His teammate Hernan Cline is second at 44 seconds down and Ramiro Cabrera (Avai de Florianopolis) is third at 1:03. Highest-placed North American is fourth-placed Canadian Ryan Anderson (Kelly Benefit Strategies) at 1:24 from the leader. Kelly Benefit Strategies tops the team classification with 12 seconds lead on second-placed Alas Rojas de Santa Lucía.
Two stages are left in the race, the 165km stage 9 from Pueblo Risso to San José and the 186.6 km stage 10 from San José to Montevideo, both from rolling to fairly flat terrain.
GC after 8 stages
1. MASCARAÑAS, Richard URU ALAS ROJAS SANTA LUC 31:59:58
2. CLINE, Hernan URU ALAS ROJAS SANTA LUC at +0:44
3. CABRERA, Ramiro URU AVAI DE FLORIANOPOLI at +01:03
4. ANDERSON, Ryan CAN KELLY BENEFITS STRAT at +01:24
5. DE FINO, Mariano URU VILLA TERESA at +01:43
6. BRAVO, Jorge URU ALAS ROJAS SANTA LUC at +01:54
7. MARTINEZ, Luis Alberto URU VILLA TERESA at +02:23
8. FERNANDEZ, Geovane URU ALAS ROJAS SANTA LUC at +02:27
9. VEILLEUX, David CAN KELLY BENEFITS STRAT at +02:29
10. ARRIAGADA, Marcos CHI FUNVIC-SUNDOWN at +02:54
14. ZWIZANSKI, Scott USA KELLY BENEFITS STRAT at +03:47
18. MUNFORD, Jonathan USA KELLY BENEFITS STRAT at +04:57
25. ANTHONY, Jesse USA KELLY BENEFITS STRAT at +07:33
41. BOIVIN, Guillaume CAN SPIDERTECH PLANET EN at +10:47
43. EAST, Guy USA KELLY BENEFITS STRAT at +12:14
46. GILBERT, Martin CAN SPIDERTECH PLANET EN at +12:50
59. LACOMBE, Keven CAN SPIDERTECH PLANET EN at +20:12
60. BATTY, Mark CAN SPIDERTECH PLANET EN at +20:18
82. LAMBERT, Simon CAN SPIDERTECH PLANET EN at +35:14