For the second time in three days at the Vuelta a España, Fred Wright’s hopes of a first career victory came painfully close to coming true with the victorious rider from Bahrain on Friday battling his breakaway mates to the line .
Wright was in a six-man move that went almost from the gun on Stage 7. He was still there as the break narrowed to five on the endless category one climb of Puerto San Glorio, then exploded to arrival in the inland town of Cistierna. .
But having managed, against all odds, to fend off a chasing peloton by just over 30 seconds, Wright opted to lead the breakaway and then couldn’t stop the Spaniard Jesus Herrada (Cofidis), finally winner, and Samuele Battistella (Astana Qazaqstan) from the past thruster.
The 23-year-old was understandably disappointed with such a narrow miss after a 182-kilometre breakaway on Friday, following another third-place finish in the 106-kilometre move through the Basque Country on Wednesday. But he insisted he would “stay positive”.
“The break came pretty early and I jumped in to get there. We had a good group of 6 guys who worked well together,” Wright said in a statement released by Bahrain Victorious.
“I didn’t think we were going to make it because I found out that some of the sprinters were still in the peloton after the climb or came back into the peloton, so it’s only in the last 10-15 kilometers that I thought it was maybe not coming back and we were going to.
Wright explained that his ambition for victory proved too strong, and rather than clearly calculating his strategy for the finish, he left too soon.
“It’s tough when you want it so bad – I think that’s why I went a bit early because I see the finish line and I think, ‘I’ve got the best sprint here, I just going to go.’ ”
“I think it’s easy to forget that it’s hard not to let emotions get the better of you. You have to keep a cool head. But I think as soon as it clicks and I learn how it’s going, it’s going to get a lot easier.
While regretting the missed victory, Wright insisted he would keep trying in the days to come. As he said, “It’s just a shame because it would have been nice to win the stage for the team today.”
“I’m not going to lie, I’m really disgusted. But I have to stay positive, because it’s coming, it’s definitely coming.