February 25, 2014 (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) – After an extremely aggressive day of racing that featured five categorized climbs, Carlos Galviz (Venezuela) has won stage five of the Vuelta Independencia Nactional (UCI 2.2), with second place going to Edwin Sanchez (Colombia), who also took over the top spot of the general classification from Eric Marcotte.
Canada’s Rob Britton was the best of Team SmartStop’s climbers finishing in 5th, down 3:01 from Galviz. Rob maintained his second placing on the general classification 1:50 behind Sanchez.
As expected once the climbs hit the race blew up with teams giving it their all, aggressively attacking the peloton, but Team SmartStop held strong, maintaining good positioning in the bunch and racing hard.
“The guys rode brilliant position into the base of the climb and then as we predicted all hell broke loose,” said Rob post stage, “The Colombian team launched plenty of attacks straight away and everyone else seemly doing their best to respond.”
The team worked well to put some of the guys into the lead groups going over the major climbs, just as Director, Michael Creed, had hoped they would do.
Rob said: “I was able to make the front group over the first major climb and then with some exceptional help from Mike and the guys in the car I was able to stay hydrated, which was huge!”
“We lost the yellow today, but Rob stayed in 2nd. We were so close, maybe 20 seconds going over the top,” said Michael, “But, it was what it was.”
“Rob is just three seconds ahead of 3rd place, but hopefully he can hold him off.”
Rob is happy with how he finished in today’s stage chasing the four riders who were up the road: “I was able to limit the losses to the group of four ahead and come into 5th and hold onto my 2nd on GC.”
Flavio de Luna also had an exceptional final climb finishing in 15th on the stage. With four stages in three days left to race, Team SmartStop are still in the race and are looking to be able to launch more attacks on the days to come.
“The guys are all looking really good as the week goes on and now with some solid time gaps hopefully we can start throwing some attacks and get ourselves up the road,” said Rob.
“Five down, three to go.”
Tuesday features a double stage day and Michael is hopeful of results in both the 111km road stage and 20km afternoon Individual Time Trial. “We will be looking for a good day, maybe two wins?” said Michael; “The morning stage is flat and quick so we are looking at Jure for the bunch sprint and Zach in the ITT.”
Stage 5 – Moca to Constanza – 112km
1. Carlos Galviz (Ven) Tachira Concafe 2:58:47
2. Edwin Sanchez (Col) Formesan
3. Wilson Marentes (Col) Formesan
4. Felix Cardenas (Col) Formesan
5. Rob Britton (Can) Team SmartStop 3:01
6. Addelyn Cruz (Dom) Finauto
7. Pedro Herrera (Col) Formesan
8. Pedro Torres (Col) La Vega Cne 3:02
9. Zhandos Bizhigitov (Kaz) Kazakhstan 7:13
10. Barhtiyar Kozhatayev (Kaz) Kazakhstan 7:34
43. Zach Bell (Can) Team SmartStop 21:22
GC after Stage 5
1. Edwin Sanchez (Col) Formesan 14:30:08
2. Rob Britton (Can) Team SmartStop 1:50
3. Pedro Torres (Col) La Vega Cne 1:59
4. Carlos Galviz (Ven) Tachira Concafe 5:14
5. Andres Diaz (Col) Incycle Predator 6:24
6. Felix Cardenas (Col) Formesan 6:25
7. Wilson Marentes (Col) Formesan 6:25
8. Pedro Herrera (Col) Formesan 8:25
9. Addelyn Cruz (Dom) Finauto 8:25
10. Maxat Ayazbayev (Kaz) Kazakhstan 12:34
44. Zach Bell (Can) Team SmartStop 28:11