09/03/2021 at 7:52 PM CEST
One day Javier Guillén, director of the Vuelta, called Oscar Pereiro, winner of the 2006 Tour and ambassador of the Spanish round. “I have to do three stages in Galicia. I would like to go through the Vigo area. But is there a mountain there?” “What if there is a mountain? Only if you have ridden a bike do you know it. There is a mountain and a good one.” Guillén caught a flight from Madrid to Vigo and Pereiro went to pick him up at the airport. He began to show him ports, short but harder for each one. “Stop, stop. It’s done. Prepare it,” Guillén told Pereiro before seeing the entire route today. “It is so and so hard, all the way through the roads where I trained, that in all my life as a professional cyclist I have only chained the five passes of this stage once.” How hard is it? “It is the stage to go around the Vuelta”, replies Pereiro.
La Vuelta entered Galicia today so that a breakaway in Monforte de Lemos could resist the push of the peloton and present Magnus Cort Nielsen with the third victory. Primoz Roglic, like Enric Mas, like Superman, like Egan Bernal, were reserved for the ambush that awaits them on the Pereiro stage. “It would be much more exciting -explains the Galician ex-cyclist- for Roglic to reach this stage without a team and in need of cutting time. But I doubt that there will be a meaningless escape. The victory can only be among those who fight for the general classification and I am convinced that Although Movistar and Ineos are touched, they will try to isolate Roglic from the start. “
Pereiro has not wanted to do it again by bike. “It is very hard”. I’ve only done it by car. The last 90 kilometers run through a territory without a plain. You go up and down a port. And so on up to five times. If a corridor is cut, it is impossible for him to re-link and even more complicated for a team to regroup. I will only say that in these 90 kilometers there is a positive slope of 3,200 meters. It is a real trap. It is the stage that can surprise, apart from those that everyone knew in Asturias. And in some of these ports there are ramps that exceed 20%. It’s going to be an ambush at all levels. “
The runners, after 19 stages, of traveling through Spain from end to end, from Burgos to Galicia but going through Castilian, La Mancha, Valencian, Murcian, Andalusian, Extremaduran, Cantabrian and Asturian roads, they will find 202 kilometers long and five ports that do not appear in any cycling literature: Vilachán, Mabia, Mougás, Prado and Castro de Herville, where the goal is, in the Consello de Mos, where Pereiro grew up and started cycling. “Galician cyclists know this area and it is very tough. It is terrain for Bernal to fight to reach the podium like Jack Haig and even the Emirates to reaffirm David de la Cruz among the top ten. And, obviously, Movistar. If they all see that Roglic is alone in the company of Sepp Kuss at the first shift there will be a show “, says the creator of this stage.
Roglic will be able to say after crossing the top of Castro de Herville that he has the test won since tomorrow he seems to be the only candidate to prevail in the final time trial, which will end at a different time than usual, since the arrival at the Obradoiro square in Santiago is expected of the first of the general at 20.30.
And beware, as Pereiro warns, the last port, although it has been classified as second category, has crumbs. “The initial ramps are an exaggeration. Then, in the middle of the 9.7 kilometers uphill, it softens, but in the end it hardens again. That part is very similar to Peyragudes, in the Pyrenees, where Valverde won ( which yesterday reconfirmed that he is still active for another year) in the 2012 Tour, “says Pereiro.
At 2.30 pm, after the city of Tui, the festival will begin. Not to be missed.