Colombian from Movistar Team squeezes his chances, claims maiden Grand Tour stage victory to emulate Mauricio Soler after his fellow countryman's 2011 Tour de Suisse success on the same mountain, with the same colours.
This is for you, Óscar Rodríguez! The bad taste from a 2023 Giro d’Italia so far bitter for the Movistar Team was fully left behind with Einer Rubio’s success in Crans-Montana. The young Colombian, in his fourth season in Blue colours, bested enormously prestigious rivals to claim his second win of the season -the Blues’ 12th in 2023- and achieve his maiden Grand Tour stage victory with ernormous intelligence.
The young man from Chíquiza had filtered into a top-class quintet with Valentin Paret-Peintre (ACT), Derek Gee (IPT) and those destined to be his main rivals at the end: Jefferson Cepeda (EFE) and Thibaut Pinot (GFC). The endless attacks from the veteran Frenchman over the 13km decisive ascent made Rubio suffer to his limit, yet the Colombian always managed to come back so he could reach the final kilometer with a shot at glory.
Einer launched his decisive move, raised his arms victorious and gave the Abarca Sports organisation a 127th Grand Tour stage win, breaking a four-year ‘drought’ for the Movistar Team as they also emulated Mauricio Soler. The former Blue member claimed here in Crans-Montana a famous victory in the 2011 Tour de Suisse, just days before his career-ending accident.
QUOTES / Einer Rubio:
“This is the great day I’ve been looking for for so long. I’ve worked so hard preparing for this Giro. The weather was so hard for me to cope with lately – the rain really affected me yesterday. But I knew I had to keep trying, seeking for my opportunity, and I had another one today. Thank you to God and everyone supporting me – my dream came true today.
“I knew Pinot was such a strong contender, and Cepeda was also one to keep an eye on. I ‘only’ had to let them take their turn, play my cards, and wait for the finish. I know I will be more aware in a few hours of what I have achieved today – I was only thinking here about giving it my all, thinking about the stage victory. Now it’s ours – so let’s enjoy this success!”