|Guama stretches out after taking the win (Photo: podi1.com)|
The day was marked by a three man breakaway including 3-time Little 500 Champion Eric Young (Optum), August Jensen (Oster Hus) and Jose Ragonessi (Ecuador). The trio, which formed after 25 kilometers, got a maximum gap of 5 minutes before the peloton felt like chasing. Young, who is a former American Pro Criterium Champion, won the two intermediate sprints on offer before dropping back from the breakaway with 50 kilometers to go. With 24 kilometers to go, Jensen and Ragonessi were swept up by the peloton, who were preparing for the finale that included two climbs, one of which included the uphill finish.
On the first climb, Raul Alarcon from Louletano lead Efapel teammates Carlos Oyarzun and Joni Brandao over the top for the KOM points but the group more or less stayed together to the bottom of the finishing climb. Going into the final uphill, a small group of 5 separated themselves and as the climb leveled out in the final 200 meters, Guama lept away from the others and was able to take the victory with a 1 second cushion on a group of 4. In the U23 classification, Guama's Team Ecuador teammate Jaime Roson came in 6 seconds down and took the white youth jersey. Roson leads four riders by 5 seconds including USA National's Tanner Putt, Etixx's Markus Hoelgaard, Anicolor's Joaquim Silva and Nuno Matos.
For those that don't know much about Guama, he has been a stalwart in South America for the last half-decade and has won the overall classification of the Vuelta a Ecuador twice and has 5 stage wins in the Vuelta a Colombia. His team, Team Ecuador, is the South American arm of Team Movistar and they act as a pseudo-Ecuadorian National Team but half of their roster does include Spanish riders, including former Tour de l'Avenir winner Jordi Simon.
The race continues in Alentejo tomorrow with a flat stage that is capped off by a short but steep climb to the castle in Montemor-o-Novo.