Miguel Ángel “Supermán” López won the Vuelta a San Juan

Miguel Ángel “Supermán” López won the Vuelta a San Juan

Colombian Miguel Ángel “Supermán” López was declared the winner of the 39th edition of the Vuelta a San Juan as the seventh and final stage finished with the start and finish in the capital San Juan, covering a 112 km course, in which he repeated victory Australian Sam Welsford (DSM) sprinted.

In a thrilling finale with a breakaway of Remco Evenepoel and Simmons with 14km to go that endangered the general classification, the much-anticipated sprint took place, where once again the prodigious Welsford (Subiaco, 27) emerged, a silver and Olympic track specialist bronze on the cycling track and 4 times world champion team, ahead of the Dutchman Fabio Jakobsen and the Italian Giacomo Nizzolo.

The last blow of Remco Evenepoel’s rainbow jersey startled Miguel Ángel López and the men on the podium, but Filippo Ganna’s reaction solved the problem. The Colombian from Medellín took the overall victory in the 39th edition of the Vuelta a San Juan. He climbed to the top of the podium accompanied by Ganna (Ineos) and another Colombian national champion Sergio Higuita (Bora Hansgrohe).

THE DEMANDS OF LÓPEZ

The Colombian cyclist has staged a coup in San Juan in difficult times. “Superman” has been experiencing spasmodic episodes for the past two years. In 2021, Movistar terminated his contract after his “I’m getting off here” on stage 20 of the Vuelta, and recently expelled him from the Astana team by disclosing that he knew new information about the possible link between the rider and Dr. Marcos Maynar, under investigation for running a sports doping network.

Without a team, singled out and convinced that he was living unjustly, López found a place in his country as Medellín welcomed him into its ranks, which include Spain’s Óscar Sevilla. López’s present and future were left in the dark, out of the World Tour and crying out for revenge.

López grabbed the Vuelta a San Juan to show that at 28 years old and with a brilliant record, including two podiums at the Giro and Vuelta, he has a level left to make an immediate return to the World Tour. At the first opportunity to demonstrate it, he achieved the goal.

“I will not give up and I will fight against injustice,” he said last Wednesday when he compared his case with that of his compatriot Nairo Quintana.

EVENEPOEL AND BERNAL GIVE THE ONE OF SAND

López (Pesca, age 28) sent word to the World Tour teams with a victory that he confirmed with his exhibition in Alto Colorado where he destroyed all his rivals. With 24 victories to his name, including 3 stages in the Vuelta and 1 in the Tour, “Supermán” looks to Medellín for a boost to return to the top cycling category.

The winner of the Argentine round defeated world champion Remco Evenepoel and Colombian Egan Bernal, who raised expectations, but had to give up injured in the sixth stage. The one from Pesca prepared the Vuelta conscientiously because there was more at stake than victory, and he lived up to the prediction that had been made of him as the true favourite.

Evenepoel attacked without any effect in El Colorado and remained true to his attacking character in the last stage, but the rainbow jersey was not even the shadow of the rider who won the Vuelta or the World Cup. The first trial of the year only served him to complete the first practices.

Nor did Egan surprise Bernal. A year after his serious accident, the Cundinamarqués is still recovering. In El Colorado he was ahead, he was fourth, but the surprise came in the sixth stage with a retirement due to “knee pain”.

GAVIRIA CAME BACK AND RICHEZE SAID GOODBYE

The Tour of San Juan witnessed the return to victory of Movistar’s Colombian sprinter Fernando Gaviria, winner of the fourth stage and always at odds with the arrival of the best sprinters. A moral blow for the rider from La Ceja, who gave the Spanish team the first victory of the year.

This race also left behind the farewell of an already legendary Argentine cyclist, Maximiliano Richeze, who received the tribute of the peloton and the San Juan public with the jersey of the national team. “El Atómico” was one of the best pitchers in the team and retired at the age of 39.

In the list of winners, Miguel Ángel López succeeded Remco Evenepoel, winner in 2020. A year earlier, in 2019, his compatriot Winner Anacona won.




Source: El heraldo

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