Cañavaral brothers on verge of Leyenda glory
The Cañaveral brothers Johnatan y Johan Sebastián conquered the Queen stage of La Leyenda del Dorado 2019 on Friday and are now look set to claim overall victory of the race, which ends this Saturday in Manizales.
The Cañaverals (Strongbike - Coldeportes - Strongman) managed to overcome the incredibly hard climb to the La Olleta crater on the Nevado del Ruiz volcano, located at 4,700m above sea level, to claim victory at the finish line in Termales del Otoño.
Today’s Stage 5 was one to give racers vertigo. This year, the ascent to the mystical summit of the race produced an impressive effort from competitors to overcome the greatest obstacle they’ve faced during the seven days of racing. For competitors, the final 12km of the ascent to La Olleta proved an incredible test of stamina, because of the high altitude volcanic terrain, which resembles a lunar landscape.
Although the team of Juan Fernando Monroy and Jhonnatan Botero (GW Shimano-HA Bicycles) reached the highest point of the stage first, the Cañaveral brothers grabbed the advantage on the long descent down from the volcano after another puncture ruined the hopes of Monroy and Botero, an misfortune that had already affected them in previous days.
The stage winners reached the finish in a time of 5:44:42, while second went to Monroy and Botero, who came home in 5:51:35. Third was claimed by the Colombian-Swiss team of Hilvar Malaver Calderón and Christoph Sauser (Specialized), who finished in 6:19:20.
The penultimate day consolidated the Cañaveral brothers’ lead of La Leyenda and barring a major issue, this Saturday they’ll ride to victory in the race for the first time.
“It was a very difficult stage, one of the most demanding I’ve ever raced. The altitude hit me very hard, but we overcame the difficulties until the end of the stage. Thank God we ended the stage in a good way,” said Johan Sebastián Cañaveral.
In the UCI Elite Men’s general classification, the Cañaveral brothers lead on a total time of 20:46:52, followed by Monroy and Botero on 21:12:50, while Calderón and Sauser remain in third on time of 21:41:42.
“We’re exhausted by what we’ve done in the race. We start the final stage with a good time difference in our favour, so we have to go out to control the race and not allow our rivals ride away. We want to win this beautiful race,” added Johan Sebastián Cañaveral.
In the UCI Elite Female class, there were several surprises on the day and a major shake-up in the general classification. The Colombians Ana María Roa and Yosiana Quintero Pineda (GW Shimano - Biking Village) won the stage in style, registering a time of 7:50:49.
In second position, the Colombian-Venezuelan duo of Monica Calderón and Liliana Uzcátegui (Zerouno Factory Racing) stopped the stopwatch at 8:06:05, while third was Venezuelan Katherine Lindo and Norwegian Marianne Bergli (Team Ciovitta-Massi Venezuela), who scored their first podium finish in La Leyenda with a time 9:02:13.
In the general classification, the Queen stage produced a massive swing, with early race leaders Calderón and Uzcátegui reassuming the position with a total time of 28:19:37, while Portugual’s Ilda Pereira and Great Britain’s Catherine Williamson drop to second, almost one hour behind on 29:16:03, after suffering an extremely tough day on the volcano. Sitting closely behind in third place are Roa and Quintero, on a total time of 29:30:23.