He couldn’t beat Alessandro Petacchi in the two opening stages; Cardoso outsprinted him in El Vendrell and today, in the arrival to Tarragona, José Joaquín Rojas had to surrender to Frenchman Samuel Dumoulin (COF) in his fourth victory contest in the centenary Volta a Catalunya.
The Movistar Team sprinter came in 2nd place through the fifth stage’s finishing line, the race coming together into a bunch sprint after great teamwork from the telephone squad to reel back the 4-rider breakaway that led the way home, as well as helping the Spaniard with his winning chances. Rojas, disappointed but still optimist, will be searching tomorrow for the long-awaited triumph in his fifth attempt -the sixth stage, with 195km from Tarragona to Mollet del Vallès-. “To tell the truth, Dumoulin beat him by a huge margin -explained Movistar Team sports director José Luis Arrieta-. He committed an error yesterday with the gear combination and went boxed in Petacchi’s victory, but Dumoulin was superior today. The finish was going seriously uphill and he’s won many races on those kinds of sprints, showing he’s one of the best. Pasamontes made a perfect leadout work for him and he was confident he could overtake Dumoulin at the end, thinking: ‘if he sits down, I’ll pass him’, but he didn’t sit so there’s nothing to complain about. We’ll always be there and victory has to come sooner or later. There’s another opportunity tomorrow and we’ll be going for it. As well the team as him are still willing to win.”