Vitoria Does It Again For Rock Racing

Toluca, Mexico – Rock Racing’s David Vitoria rode to his second straight stage win and donned the King of the Mountains jersey Thursday following the fifth stage of the Vuelta Mexico Telmex.

The Swiss sensation teamed with Jackson Rodriguez (Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli) to break away from a small group following the eighth categorized climb of the 133-mile (215 km) race. While Vitoria was earning Rock Racing’s ninth win of the season, Rodriguez was displacing teammate Gilberto Simoni as the race leader.

“I’m very satisfied,” Vitoria said. “When I made the breakaway, our director (Rudy Pevenage) changed the strategy of the race to go after the yellow jersey. We were very close today.”

Vitoria shot from 18th to third overall, 42 seconds back of Rodriguez, while Rock Racing teammate and defending Vuelta Mexico champion Glen Chadwick climbed two spots to fifth, 53 seconds back.

On the longest stage of the eight-day race, Rock Racing slipped Vitoria and U.S. road race champion Tyler Hamilton into a seven-man breakaway that gained eight minutes on a rapidly diminishing peloton that shattered as it approached the summit finish at 11,000 feet.

Joining the pair in the move was Chris Jones (Team Type 1), Eddy Ratti (Amica Chips-Knauf), Karl Menzies (OUCH Pro Cycling Team Presented By Maxxis), Hector Rangel (Canel’s Turbo), and former yellow jersey wearer Juan Pablo Magallanes (Mexican National Team).

Friday’s 109-mile (177 km) route begins in León and features two sprints and two categorized climbs before a flat run-in to the finish in Guanajuato.

All Photos Copyright: Luis Barbosa.