Patrick Konrad claims GC fourth at Vuelta Ciclista a Murcia after a second demanding stage.
The second and final stage of the Vuelta Ciclista a Murcia was even more demanding than yesterday’s opener. The riders faced a 177.3 km course with four categorized climbs from Beniel to Murcia. Again, just after a few kilometers a first breakaway was on the move, this time including BORA – hansgrohe’s Peter Kennaugh. The six in the lead were able to open a one-minute gap, which allowed Pete’s teammates in the back to take it a little easier in the bunch. As the race passed the third climb of the day, which had an average gradient of around 7%, the breakaway was caught by a first chasing group. However, the race was all back together just ahead of the final climb of the day. At that moment BORA – hansgrohe moved up yet again, bringing the team’s GC contender Patrick Konrad to the front. The Austrian was able to stay in contention on the decisive uphill section, passing the climb in fifth position, while A. Valverde (Team Movistar) and L.L. Sánchez (Team Astana) distanced themselves from the rest of the favorites. With about 300m to go, Sánchez surprised the UCI World Champion with a late attack to take the win. Patrick Konrad crossed the line only some seconds behind the winner in a strong fourth position, also taking fourth in the final general classification.
01 L.L. Sánchez 4:14:33
02 A. Valverde +0:00
03 M. Trentin +0:13
04 P. Konrad +0:13
From the Finish Line
“I think, the team showed a solid performance here at the Vuelta Ciclista a Murcia. Our two climbers, Pete and Patrick, rode a good race today. Pete was in the breakaway and on the final climb Patrick was able to match the pace of the other favorites. He finished both in fourth position, the stage and the general classification. I think, we can be satisfied with that result. But we already are turning our attention to tomorrow’s Cláscica de Almeria and next week’s Volta ao Algarve.” – Christian Pömer, Sport Director
“All in all, I am satisfied with my performance. Of course, a spot on the podium in the general classification would have been nice, but I was missing that last pinch of power. However, the team worked great both days. Tomorrow is another chance for us at the Clásica de Almeria, then we travel to Portugal for the Volta ao Algarve. I am ready to go also there for some strong results.” – Patrick Konrad