A Sweet Spanish Victory For Sara Martin

Leaving behind a plethora of physical difficulties and setbacks over the last two years after a promising WorldTour debut in 2021, on Saturday, Spanish rider Sara Martín (Team Movistar) claimed her maiden pro victory at the Vuelta a Andalucía. The rider from Aranda de Duero (Burgos) showed her strength to snatch the win from the pre-race favourites after spending most of the 90-km fourth stage from Pizarra to Mijas, on the attack.

Sara first launched a move after 25km. The response came from no less than race leader Tamara Dronova (CGS). Half way through the race, Sara then joined a four-woman attempt with Villalón (EIC), Espínola (CSG) and Stannard (CGS). Only the latter stayed with her on the climb with 9km to go, after which both worked together up to the final uphill sprint on Málaga soil. Martín won convincingly, giving the women’s Movistar Team their third success in 2023 and taking the Abarca Sports organisation to an impressive 15 wins this year.

Martín had been hampered on Friday by an ill-timed mechanical during the Queen stage, but shrugged this setback off in the best possible way. This result will surely be a morale boost to mark a turning point in the career of one of the most resounding names in Spanish cycling.

“I’m so, so happy,” Sara said joyfully afterwards. “We fought so hard over the whole stage, trying to make a hard race, which favoured our chances. I was finally able to open that gap with the four-woman group, I had the legs, and then went on to escape with Stannard and beat her into the sprint. I’m so emotional about this, and so happy about the win. This pays back for all the work we’ve been doing together this week. Last year’s Vuelta a Andalucía was so special for the Movistar Team, and we were aiming at victories again in 2023. We’re enjoying this race so much. I want to dedicate this victory to my family and the people who have supported me, been around me – especially in tough times.”

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