Vuelta a Madrid (finale)
Spaniard claims second victory in 2018, takes Movistar Team -17 wins this season- to 900 triumphs since its European pro men’s squad made its debut four decades ago.
Beaten by just few milimeters at Saturday’s stage two in San Sebastián de los Reyes, Carlos Barbero (Movistar Team) left no room to his competition on the final day of the 2018 Vuelta a Madrid, and rose his arms victorious again three weeks after his maiden success this season, at the opening stage of the Vuelta a Castilla y León.
The Burgos native took a convincing win at Madrid’s Paseo de la Castellana, at the end of the 18 laps (95km) of the traditional city circuit in Spain’s capital, following fine support from his five Movistar team-mates. Early work from Jaime Castrillo to keep breakaways under control was continued with successful leadout duties from Rosón, Bico, Carretero and an expert Daniele Bennati, all making possible the Spaniard’s comfortable victory ahead of Pelegrí (RPO) and Mendonça (AVI).
Barbero’s success, the second this season and 17th in 2018 for the Telefónica-backed squad -also taking the Points (Carlos) and KOM (Jaime Rosón) jerseys plus a 4th place overall-, takes Eusebio Unzué’s team to an excellent milestone: 900 victories since the inception of its European pro men’s squad back in 1980 as Reynolds.
REACTION / Carlos Barbero:
“Yesterday I came just milimeters short to the win, it had never happened to me. It’s always sad to come second, but getting such a result in that way – it’s way worse. I definitely wanted to take that grudge off today. If anyone was having any doubts, I was able to show today I’m in good form. I was in a good position all day, I knew where I wanted to launch my sprint from, and I was fully confident Bennati would show up and help me out. All youngsters did a nice job, but the confidence and faith I had on Daniele’s work takes it all a step ahead.
“It’s a beautiful finish, one that suits me really well because it’s slightly uphill. The team relied on me all weekend long, as they’ve done for the entire season, and being able to pay them back for their confidence is important for me. I feel as strong as last year, even if results haven’t been as brilliant. My main strength as a rider is keeping strong form during the whole season, and I’m always trying to give the team reasons to trust me.
“Now I’ll be racing the Vuelta a Aragón, and after that, maybe Dauphiné or the Route d’Occitanie before the Spanish Championships. Becoming national champion has always been a goal for me – I don’t know if this year’s parcours is the best for me, but I’ve got two medals and five top-ten finishes, and I’d love to get the jersey someday. After the Nationals, I’ll have some rest.”
Picture (c): Photo Gomez Sport