After sprinting to the win on stage 1 of Vuelta Ciclista Andalucia, Tamara Dronova-Balabolina proved her strength on all terrain by climbing to an impressive solo win on the stage 2 summit finish in Cómpeta to make it back to back wins for Israel – Premier Tech Roland.
Gritting her teeth having dug deep to drop the rest of the field, the unmistakeable leader’s yellow jersey of Dronova-Balabolina was the first to round the final corner into the finish straight. Crossing the line with a seven-second advantage, Dronova-Balabolina extended her overall lead to 32 seconds with three stages remaining.
“Today was a nice stage. The first climb for me was really nice and then the breakaway went away. The team worked hard to be present there with Alice Sharpe so I want to say a big thank you to all of my teammates, as they worked really well for me. I am a happy winner today and am happy to take the yellow jersey into the next stage,” explained Dronova-Balabolina.
The 95-kilometer stage was marked by two climbs and, as expected, it all came down to the 14-kilometer Puerto de Cómpeta summit finish. A late nine-rider breakaway featuring IPTR’s Irish champion Alice Sharpe was pulled back with nine kilometers to go and from there, the team rallied around Dronova-Balabolina to put her in the best position for the final slopes.
“I waited until the finale to make my move when there was a selection made. I knew having looked at the final part of that the climb that the last 500m were really steep and narrow. I felt really good so I wanted to try and go alone. A stage race is never predictable, but of course we will fight for General Classification.”
With two wins to her name, Dronova-Balabolina is not only leading the General Classification, but also the sprint and KOM classifications.
Photos: Vuelta Ciclista Andalucia