No surprises, Santiago Montenegro ratified his general leadership and emerged as champion of the 37th edition of the Cycling Tour of Ecuador Banco Pichincha. The runner of the national team arrived second on the final day, after Mexican Efrén Santos (Canel’s), winner of the stage in the Middle of the World.
A tie in time with Joel Fuertes (Without Borders), Montenegro had to maintain its position and got it, a tight victory just meters ahead of Carchense at the end of the day.
« I had in mind to win this Vuelta, we achieved it with effort, we made sacrifices that are rewarded by this victory, dedicated to the entire National Team, because the team supported me throughout the Vuelta, » said the brand new champion of the greatest cycling event from the country.
Those who were initially considered favorites appeared at the head of the race. Jorge Montenegro (Movistar Team), Byron Guamá (Best PC) and Efrén Santos (Canel’s) held a close duel during the first laps of the 100-kilometer circuit that was completed in the final stage of the Vuelta al Ecuador, which closed in the City Half of the world.
The head of the race worked to have a difference over the group of the general leader, Santiago Montenegro (Ecuador team). In the first two laps it was an advantage of 1 min 12 s, and with that difference they disputed the first flying goal at kilometer 30, won by Guamá.
In the main batch, Montenegro worked with the tricolor team to control Martín López (Best) and Joel Burbano (Sin Fronteras), the only ones who could enter into contention for the title.
With a sustained pace, the escape reached kilometer 50 where the second flying goal was defined, again in the hands of the Best PC leader, on the fifth lap and with a difference of 1 min 30 s.
The constant encouragement of the people was something that marked the day, with hundreds of fans in the street, who with flags, whistles and applause were waiting for the passage of the peloton, with that frame Guamá the third flying goal, at kilometer 70. The points disputed in this modality in the final day did not affect the classification, which in the previous one already crowned Sebastián Novoa (Best PC) as the fastest of the lot.
The last lap defined the winner of the day and of the Vuelta. Montenegro was relegated from the breakout and was absorbed by the squad. To face the final stretch, Santos got off the hook from Guamá and arrived first, with the lot pressing to cut differences and Montenegro (22 years old) to cross the finish line in front of Burbano and secure the title, his first great conquest in national cycling.
« It was a very hard circuit, but being with Byron Guamá and Jorge Montenegro motivated me, they are referents of Ecuadorian cycling, » said the Mexican Santos.
With the 2020 title for Montenegro, the classifications of the categories remained with Burbano as mountain leader, Sebastián Novoa as leader of flying goals, Martín López winner under-23 and as the best team of the race. Second overall was Joel Burbano and third was Martín López, Best PC runner. (D)