Brave Torres strengthens KOM lead in Trentino

Brave Torres strengthens KOM lead in Trentino

28/04/2015 - Gare e Team

Best climber in a land of climbers. That’s the title Colombia-Coldeportes’ Rodolfo Torres might be able to boast tomorrow, when the Giro del Trentino Melinda will be finished business, and no doubt that the Colombian will be remembered as one of the most combative presences of the 39th edition of the Italian race. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r-La Mondiale) surged in the final 2 km to grab a solo win in stage 3, 183 km from Ala to the uphill finish in Fierozzo, but Rodolfo Torres was simply brilliant in making a bold move on the Redebus pass, being first on the KOM line after doing the same yesterday on the Santa Barbara pass.

With a 8-point lead over his first rivals, defending the final green jersey in tomorrow’s final stage looks well within the Torres’ reach, while Richie Porte (Team Sky) easily defended his overall lead by taking third behind Mikel Landa (Astana), and is expected to add another overall title to his impressive season tally tomorrow.

It was a hard race since the early morning in Trentino, with a 15-man move forcing its way away from the bunch, and Team Sky forced to a strong acceleration when Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale) momentarily joined the frontrunners. After the Frenchman sat up, the lead was allowed to grow up to over 3 minutes, but Richie Porte and his Team Sky kept things under control with the help of Colombia-Coldeportes, clearly looking to set up Rodolfo Torres for a strong finale.

The moment came halfway up to the category 1 Redebus Pass, when Torres and Francesco Bongiorno (Bardiani-CSF)  got away of the pack, coming back on the former escapees, progressively splintered on the steep ramps. Torres eventually proved the strongest on the climb, passing solo on the KOM just ahead of a trio formed by Bardet, Diego Rosa (Astana) and morning escapee Hubert Dupont (Ag2r-La Mondiale).

The four regrouped on the descent, holding 40 seconds on the pack until the foot of the final climb and remained at the front until 3 km to go. In the end, the GC men came back strong, but Rodolfo still had the energy to conclude in sixth place, a mere 13 seconds behind Pozzovivo. Just 11 seconds keep Rodolfo out of the top 10, 11th with a 1.48 gap to Richie Porte.

“We did everything we could today,” explained Torres, “we defended and extended the KOM lead and tried a bold move to rise up the classification. The team was simply brilliant today, taking the responsibility early on, and Pedraza did a superb job in launching my attack too. After what they did, it was up to me to do the best to finalize it: the win remains elusive for us, but we really cannot complain with our performance.”

Sports Director Valerio Tebaldi shared the views of his team leader: “Every piece of our team did an important part today, and Rodolfo tried to be creative on the Redebus to shake up the GC while securing the jersey: the move was a really spectacular one, and it could have worked out too. Hats off to him and the team,  but tomorrow we have another opportunity and different options to explore.”

The final stage of Giro del Trentino Melinda, Malè-Cles (161 km) will not be as brutal as the previous ones, but that does not mean the riders will have an easy job on hand. Torres will have to manage his advantage on two categorized climbs, and a breakaway could well make it to the finishing line: a spectacular finish should be on cards for the Italian race.