The Slovenian Primoz Roglic (Jumbo Visma) retained the red leader jersey in Lekunberri, the end of the second stage of the Vuelta that was awarded "deservedly" the Spaniard Marc Soler with a "great work of Movistar"
10/21/2020 at 7:32 PM CEST
"My team did a fantastic job of controlling the whole day, first with the break and then the main group. The teammates left me in the best position for the promotion of Aralar. It has been very hard. When Soler left, we could no longer reach him. Deserved to win".
Roglic, second in goal, scored a 6-second bonus, allowing him to slightly increase his lead overall. Now he is followed by the Irish Dan Martin (UAE Emirates) at 9 seconds and the Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz (Ineos) at 11.
"Again I have achieved a good result. It was another complicated stage, nervous because of the wind and the fans that Movistar has caused, and then with a very hard climb at the end".
The winner of the 2019 Vuelta made a good balance of the Vuelta after two stages and underlined the good work of Movistar in his land.
"So far so good. I knew that Movistar is a very strong team and we have suffered today, they have run great".
The Spanish Marc Soler showed himself "very, very happy" With his solo triumph at the Lekunberri finish line, in the second stage of the Tour of Spain, a very special victory because it is the first he has achieved in a grand lap, and also in Navarra, where his team is based.
On 10/27/2020 at 08:04 CET
Tour of Spain
"I’m very happy. We raced at home and we were very motivated to compete here in Navarra, together with the directors we had already planned before the 1xbet app stream start that we wanted to play our tricks from the top of Urbasa. We have started shooting there and the truth is that from then on to the finish line everything has gone well", he claimed.
Soler explained the work of his team from the ascent to the Urbasa pass, when he began to impose his rhythm, to the descent of Aralar, where the Catalan launched the final attack.
"Arcas, Erviti, Nelson Oliveira and Rojas have always kept the pace on the flat, then Carlos Verona has made a good step at the beginning of the port and I have tried to continue. In the last meters of the climb it was difficult for me because I had already been working a lot, but since there was a break in the group on the descent and coming off the hook, I took the opportunity to leave without being able to catch a wheel"he commented.
The winner of the second stage underlined the importance of having debuted in a big way, on a day that he knew perfectly well with the rest of the team.
"We really wanted to do well here; in fact, we recognized the stage this weekend, just before traveling to Irún. This premiere makes me very happy. It was up to the whole team to receive a reward after so many efforts and such a difficult year. I can only thank the team for their support and the people who have been with me all this time.", he stated.
Enric Mas believed that it was a motorcycle of the organization that was overtaking them on the left. Marc Soler had been cut off in the last meters of the Navarrese climb to San Miguel de Aralar, the obstacle of the second stage of the Vuelta, after shooting like a madman in favor of his team throughout the climb. No, Enric, it was not a motorcycle, it was Soler, his soulmate who lives and shares training in Andorra. It was Soler who was looking for victory, who achieved the triumph alone in Lekunberri, and was repositioned in the general of the Spanish round.
On 10/27/2020 at 08:04 CET
Tour of Spain
It has cost a lot for the Movistar team to get victories this season. In fact, this Wednesday is the second of the year. And it was Soler, precisely, who opened the squad’s locker in Mallorca, in February, before the pandemic and before everything got complicated. Alejandro Valverde, the king of triumphs in his team, is always there, always with the best (this Wednesday, fifth of the stage) but the successes are resisting him this year so and so strange, so and so damn.
Soler, 26, was the cyclist who won the Paris-Nice, the one who once in the Volta a Catalunya was so good that he even began to make it clear that he was called to do great things in this sport. But until now it was like the striker who dribbled against the opposing defender, shot at goal and the ball crashed into the post. Ah! A year ago he almost achieved victory in the great Andorran stage of the Vuelta. But, for tactical reasons, they stopped him. How pissed he was. But it was logical, because those who have victories in their blood, those who are not in this sport just to help the team and look for jerry cans, have a special character of champions, which has driven Soler since he was one of the greats promises of world cycling.
On Tuesday the climb to the Sanctuary of Arrate became a bit indigestible. And for this reason he needed to make a splash, vindicate himself and show that he is also a skipper in a Movistar that has come to win the Vuelta that Primoz Roglic already leads with Mas, but also with the alternative of Soler. "I have never stopped thinking about the general. In the team we are Mas, Valverde and I, and the three of us are very well".
It was also the Movistar stage because they are the Navarrese team and the second round of the Vuelta started from Pamplona to reach Lekunberri with the obstacle of San Miguel de Aralar in between. And Navarrese are the team manager, here in the Spanish round, José Luis Arrieta, and the route captain, who is none other than Imanol Erviti. They knew each other, as if it were the backyard of their houses, every kilometer, every steep slope, every curve and even every concrete block that complicated a good part of the ascent to Aralar.
With hardly any public, because this is and will be the norm of a Vuelta that will pass through many areas with closed perimeters due to the pandemic, cyclists like Soler had to encourage themselves. "We knew this was a very difficult year. But he was highly motivated and knew the terrain very well. I was working for Valverde but when I was cut I connected with the group, I was going so strong that I passed them, so I launched myself for the victory". And he got it to demonstrate all the quality that this Catalan cyclist treasures, who was and is one of the jewels in the Movistar crown.
The time has come for the Spanish Super Cup, an express competition that could be Ronald Koeman’s first title as Barça coach. The azulgrana team is planted at the appointment having improved significantly in their last games. Many did not expect it after the defeats against Cádiz and Juventus -the latter with a certain taste of humiliation-, but the reality is that the Catalan team seems to have made a ‘click’, both at a football and mental level. On paper, Barça and Real Madrid are superior to Real Sociedad and Athletic. If you both do your homework, you will meet in the final. In it, who would start as a favorite?
On at 12:41 CET
The numbers are clear: no team has added more than Barça in the last five league games. The Catalans have achieved 13 points, Atlético 12 and Real Madrid 11. In addition, in the last 10 days Barça is also the team with the best numbers among the four participants in the Super Cup. The ‘blaugranas’ have obtained 23 points, two more than Real Madrid, 11 more than Athletic and 13 more than Real Sociedad.
For Barça, the latest results are a boost of morale, although the big change has been emotionally. Suddenly, Koeman’s pupils are beginning to be seen enjoying themselves on the pitch: Messi is once again Messi, Pedri continues to hold the chair, De Jong remembers Ajax’s, Dembélé dares to do everything and Griezmann has reconciled with the goal. Even Umtiti surprised for good in Los Cármenes.
It is always said that a team does not transform from one day to the next, but this Barça has. The growth margin is still enormous, but the image of the team in San Mamés, Huesca or Granada has nothing to do with the apathetic performances until then. As if it were a switch, Koeman has suddenly hit the button. And incidentally, he has found his ideal eleven while waiting for the return of Ansu and Piqué, now injured.
But are three parties a sufficiently reliable sample? The ‘new’ Barça needs to face a great team to scan their current level. If he meets Real Madrid in the final of the Super Cup, the test will be indicative. It should not be forgotten that the whites already prevailed at the Camp Nou by 1-3 in the first Clásico this season. More than the result, the first objective of the Catalans must be to be able to compete from you to you. The details can then tip the balance one way or the other.
With a lot of noise and little self-criticism. This is how Real Madrid comes to the Super Cup. The whites have come off two points in Pamplona in a match in which they only kicked on goal once in 90 minutes. Far from analyzing errors, Zidane ‘cried’ like never before in the press room and even Toni Kroos exposed his coach with much more elegant statements – he congratulated the Osasuna operators for the good work with the grass.
The whites also left doubts in Martínez Valero, where Elche was able to score with ‘only’ order and intensity.