Adam de Vos during training camp in Granada, Spain. (Photo by Ethan Glading/Rally Cycling)

Adam de Vos during training camp in Granada, Spain. (Photo by Ethan Glading/Rally Cycling)

Oak Bay cyclist runner-up in Spanish stage race

Adam de Vos on podium amongst World Tour best in Spain

Oak Bay’s Adam de Vos earned what his team is calling a “career-defining” runner-up finish Friday in the 177-kilometre Stage 1 of the Vuelta a Murcia in Spain.

After a long day racing in a nine-man breakaway, the Canadian road racing champion and Oak Bay resident came across the finish line four seconds back of Friday’s winner, Xandro Meurisse. Given the field of riders De Vos, 26, competed against on Friday, the result is arguably the biggest of his career, including winning the 2019 Canadian road cycling title.

READ MORE: Oak Bay cyclist wins Canadian road-race cycling championship

De Vos’ team, Rally Cycling, are technically a pro-continental team but are trending upwards and are racing many of the World Tour races (World Tour teams are automatic entrants to events such as grand tours the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia, and one-day classics such as Paris-Roubaix and Milan-San Remo).

De Vos finished Stage 2 about 12 minutes back which was good enough to take 10th spot in the two-day race. He also finished fifth in the points (sprint) competition.

Early in the Friday’s stage de Vos cleverly broke off with a nine-rider breakaway that managed to avoid being caught.

“That was probably the hardest bit of biking I’ve ever done,” de Vos posted after the stage on the Rally website. “The last 30km we had such a huge gap we were able to really mess around. I don’t think there was more than a couple actual paceline pulls, the only way we were moving forward was haymaker attacks.”

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During the breakaway, de Vos contested the intermediate sprints, enough to earn the Metas Volantes blue jersey for sprint points earned. De Vos then survived nearly an hour of attacks by the time he reached the foot of the final climb, a cobbled street. Only stage-winner Meurisse, of Circus – Wanty Gobert, was able to stay ahead of de Vos.

The 2018 World Champion road race winner Alejandro Valverde finished 15th and 2019 World Champion runner-up Matteo Trentin was 22nd.

The Vuelta a Murcia has a 40-year history and has evolved to its current form as a two-day stage race that will conclude with a 180km stage on Saturday.

reporter@oakbaynews.com