La Union, Colombia: Victor Hugo Pe?na scored Rock Racings second victory at the Vuelta a Colombia by attacking out of a 12-man breakaway three miles from the finish of a cold and rain-soaked Stage 7 on Saturday.
Pe?na a former yellow jersey wearer at the Tour de France, freewheeled across the line 18 seconds ahead of Edwin Orozco (Orgullo Paisa) to win the 101.6-mile (163.6 km) race. Wilson Marentes (Colombia es Pasi????oldeportes-Alpina) was third, 32 seconds behind.
Pena win comes 10 years after he last won a stage in his national tour.
I am very happy for this win because it has been several years and I haven’t had a win, Pena told Luis Barbosa of Ciclismohoy.com. I was amazed that I could take such a hard stage of the race in such difficult conditions. I dedicate this victory to my wife, Erika, and my sons, Mateo, Sofia and Paolo.
The victory is the 13th by Rock Racing this season and Pena first win in four years in his 12th season as a professional.
Rock Racing Team Director Mariano Friedrick said the pre-race strategy was to get either Pena or teammate Tyler Hamilton in a breakaway. Pena bridged a 45-second gap to join the decisive group.
With such powerful climbers in the break, we came up with the idea of attacking in the flats to get them into oxygen debt before the last climb, Friedrick said. We also agreed that Victor needed to keep his own rhythm rather than following attacks because it was going to kill his legs.
Pena survived a flurry of action at the base of the final climb, then threw down his own attack to shed everyone but Orozco and Marentes.
He kept a time trial effort up the climb and then hit it again and dropped the rest. It was fantastic, Friedrick said.
Sundays stage is a 19.2-mile (31 km) uphill time trial from Cri Medellin to Santa Elena. Rock Racings Oscar Sevilla lies 13th overall, 3:57 off the overall lead of Wilson Cepeda (UNE).