Saturday, June 23, 2012

Vuelta a Colombia 2012: Stage 8

Today's breakaway allowed the race leader, Alejandro Ramirez and his Lotería de Medellín team to relax in the peloton.

Ignacio Sarabia (Movistar Continental), Andrés Pantano (Supergiros-Redetrans), Jairo Pérez (Lotería de Boyacá), Juan Alejandro García (Colombia-Comcel) and Camilo Suárez (Epm-Une) were the heroes of the eighth stage of the Vuelta a Colombia. The five Colombians formed a gutsy breakaway that stayed out for over 150 kilometers. The Yellow Jersey and his Lotería de MedellÍn team welcomed the break, since there was no real GC threat. The peloton allowed the five leaders a maximum gap of just over 10 minutes.

As the stage reached the day's only climb, the escapees started to slow and the peloton, with GW-Shimano in the front, started to pull them back. Seeing an opportunity to gain a few more seconds with a top 3 finish in the stage, Felix Cardenas ordered his team to chase. GW-Shimano got it right, once again, and with only two kilometers to go the dreams of the breakaway faded as they peloton swallowed them, while gearing up for yet another bunch sprint.

Double stage winner Zanotti underestimated Ecuadorian sprinter Byron Guamá (Movistar Continental), who came from behind to become only the second non-Colombian to win a stage in this year's race.

There was no major changes in the general classification, except for KOM Leader Fernando Camargo, who lost 20 seconds at the finish and dropped out of the top 10.

Stage 9 will be the first of the three mountainous stages that will close and decide the 2012 Vuelta. Many of the riders will be very familiar with the 119 kilometers from Dosquebradas to Manizales, since this exact route has been used multiple times in Colombia's Tour and many other smaller stage races. Four categorized climbs, including the first category summit in Manizales, only 5 kilometers from the finish line.

Ecuadorean Byron Guamá wins the 8th stage.

1. Byron Guamá (Movistar Continental)  4h10.41
2. Marco Zanotti (Utensilnord-Named)  ST
3. Jaime Castañeda (Colombia-Comcel)
4. Juan Pablo Suárez (Colombia-Coldeportes)
5. Jaime Vergara (EPM-Une) 

1. Alejandro RamÍrez (Lotería de MedellÍn) 23h09:44
2. Fabio Montenegro (Formesan) 06'
3. Flober Peña (Néctar Cundinamarca)  22'
4. Félix Cárdenas (GW Shimano)  33'
5. Fabio Duarte (Colombia-Coldeportes)  58'

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