Ecuadorian rider Jonathan Caicedo suffered the moment that all cyclists must dread as he celebrated too early at the Vuelta a Asturias, being edged into second place as he sat up to enjoy the victory.
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The incident took place on Friday on the opening stage of the Spanish stage race, with Caicedo one of around 25 riders contesting the finish into Pola de Lena after the race had been split by a late climb.
Caicedo must have thought that he had the stage win in the bag as he came round the final corner with the finish line in sight and a lead on the pack, slowing down and raising his arms in victory.
However the bad news for the Medellin team rider was that Dmitry Strakhov was unleashing a strong sprint behind, and as Caicedo posted up to celebrate the victory the Russian sprinted under his arms to take the stage win.
In the end Strakhov crossed the line nearly a bike length ahead of Caicedo, who was actually lucky to hold on to second place as Sergio Higuita (Manzana Postobon) through his bike towards the line on the right-hand side of the road.
However there was some good news for Caicedo, as he followed up his second place on the opening stage with a runner-up spot on the following day’s summit finish to Alto del Acebo, before finishing in 10th place on the final day to take second overall in the general classification behind Movistar’s Richard Carapaz.
Caicedo’s premature celebration is the latest in a long line in the genre, the most famous example being Erik Zabel who celebrated too early on the Via Roma at the end of the 2004 Milan-San Remo as Oscar Freire threw his bike towards the line to take the victory.