Plaza and LAMPRE-MERIDA win in Gap
Plaza and LAMPRE-MERIDA win in GapSucha a perfect day for Rubén Plaza Molina and for Team LAMPRE-MERIDA at the Tour de France.
The 35 years old from Spain, obtained a solo victory in Gap, at the end of a long breakaway, giving the team a success that was chased with full persistence.
This is the first seasonal victory for Plaza, who's the fourteenth riders from LAMPRE-MERIDA roster who obtained a success in the 2015 season for an amount of 23 successes; Lampre wins a stage in the Tour de France after the victories of Petacchi in 2010; first success for a Merida bike in the Grande Boucel (Plaza pedaled on a Reacto Evo); fiftieth victory for Brent Copeland as team manager.The triumph of Plaza (photo Bettini) was obtained at the end of the 16th stage (Bourg de Péage-Gap, 201 km) which was approached by the LAMPRE-MERIDA with a fighting mood.
The blue-fuchsia-green team smells the battling spirit of the bunch and launched in the breakway two riders, Rubén Plaza, who had already been member of the main breakaway of the 14th stage, and Nelson Oliveira.
The LAMPRE-MERIDA's duo led the race with other 10 riders, and they were joined after 100 km in the race by a second group of 11 attackers.
The 24 riders breakaway built up a large advantage on the bunch (20') which gave to the attackers the opportunity to focus their attention on the fight for the victory, whose battlefield was the last climb of the course, the Col de Manse (summit at 12 km to the arrival).
At 3 km to the summit, Rubén Plaza attacked, his action was impressive and he could complete the climb with 1' on the first chasing group.
Only two opponents were separating Plaza from the success: a 12 km descent to Gap and Peter Sagan, who covered the downhilll at a full speed and taking many risks.
Nevertheless, LAMPRE-MERIDA's Spanish rider succeded in managing his advantage and he could celebrate the triumph in Gap with 30" of advantage on Sagan.
Twentieth place for Oliveira.
Today we achieved our goal.
It's always so difficult to win in the Tour de France, but today everything was in its right place and I added my good legs and my fighting spirit. I put everything in the attack on the Col de Manse and in the descent I try to kee my mind well focused on the road.
In my career I had obtained 22 victories, but today the feelings are so special".