June 25, 2017
National Championships 2017 – USA – Garray – Soria – 207,3 km
The Spanish National Road Race Championships are held annually to decide the Spanish cycling champions in the road race discipline,
June 25, 2017
National Championships 2017 – USA – Garray – Soria – 207,3 km
The Spanish National Road Race Championships are held annually to decide the Spanish cycling champions in the road race discipline, across various categories. The event was first held in 1897 and was won by a Portuguese rider, José Pesoa.
Jesús Herrada sealed Movistar’s eighth straight Spanish road title Sunday in Soria.
The 26-year-old from Cuenca triumphed out of a late skirmish of five riders in which he was accompanied by teammate Alejandro Valverde, Ion Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida), Lluís Mas (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Jesús Ezquerra (Sporting-Tavira).
Herrada took off from the group inside the final kilometre and went solo to net the second Spanish crown of his career after the one he collected in 2013.
Behind, Valverde controlled Izagirre and sprinted to the finish line to grab the silver medal, while the Basque rider had to settle for bronze.
How it unfolded
Not that long ago, the Spanish National Championship Road Race was a real contest. Several World Tour teams in Spain fought for the victory, and a number of Professional and Continental outfits contended and were able to make a difference or, at least, have an impact on the outcome of the race.
Nowadays, Movistar Team is the sole World Tour squad around, with the remarkably weaker Caja Rural – Seguros RGA being the only Professional one. Every year, the blue riders are majority and set the pace, while the green counterparts try to answer to their tactics and the rest of the bunch attacks with no hope of succeeding or just follows wheels waiting to scrape a medal or a top10 placing.
“Now it seems like our victory here is a foregone conclusion,” says Movistar Team’s Technical Director Alfonso Galilea, “and that puts a huge deal of pressure on our shoulders. But, believe me, it is not easy to race against a whole field yearning to see us lose.”
Movistar Team hasn’t known defeat in the race since 2009, when Rubén Plaza (then riding for Liberty Seguros) climbed faster than Alejandro Valverde up the hill leading to the Cueva del Soplao. As long as the landscape doesn’t change dramatically with a brand new top-tier outfit arising in Spain, it seems unlikely that Movistar will give up their grip on Spanish nationals in the coming years.
Orica-Scott’s Carlos Verona was the first to attack today. His move was immediately followed by more than 20 cyclists. Four of them were Movistar Team members who refused to take turns on the front as their teammates led the bunch behind. One was Mikel Landa (Team Sky), very active throughout the race, who eventually decided to stop and rejoin the bunch as he saw the move was bound to be aborted sooner or later. Several riders followed their example and the breakaway slimmed down to 10 units.
Iván García Cortina (Bahrain-Merida) featured in the breakaway and ended up upset about the development of the race. “With the Movistar riders drifting in the back of the group, it was impossible to cooperate,” he said. Cortina went as far as to take off and engage on a solo breakaway that was interrupted by his DS, who asked him to stop and save energy in order to help teammate Ion Izagirre on his bid to reclaim a title that he had already won in 2014.
After 80 up-and-down kilometres, the race made it to the final circuit where the riders were to give six laps. Its 20 kilometres featured several hills and a guest no one initially counted on with: the wind.
As Movistar Team shut down the breakaway with two laps to go, Caja Rural tried to take advantage of this wind to tear the peloton down to pieces. Lluís Mas did a remarkable effort to up the pace that was echoed by the full Movistar Team. In the end, a 30-strong group formed with a clear majority of blue riders inside.
From then on, it was a matter of time until the right move for Movistar Team happened. It was Alejandro Valverde the one to make the decisive acceleration with 7 kilometres to go. Only his teammate Jesús Herrada, Ion Izagirre, Lluís Mas and Jesús Ezquerra (Sporting-Tavira) could follow him.
The rider from Murcia, by far the strongest cyclist today, considered that was an adequate group and decided to bring it to the finish line. “Alejandro has controlled the closing kiometres in amazing fashion,” Herrada explained in the aftermath. “He took the responsibility of dragging the group to the bottom of the climb. I only had to sit on his wheel and save energy for my winning attack.”
Herrada’s acceleration couldn’t be matched by anyone. He raised his arms in celebration as he crossed the finish line, and so did Valverde a few seconds later, notoriously happy after having handed the red-and-yellow jersey to his teammate.
Jesús Herrada is one of the most underrated talents of the Spanish peloton. Always regarded as a potential winner for almost every tough race he contested in thanks to his overall strength, his exceptional resilience and a nice kick when it came down to sprinting, in the last years he has used his engine to the service of the team rather than to look for his own results.
This week, several rumours have been whispered about the future of the 26-year-old rider from Cuenca and his brother José. Movistar Team is said to be willing to extend the former’s contract, but not the latter’s. “Our priority right now is to renew both contracts with Movistar Team before listening to the offers coming from elsewhere,” Juan Campos, agent of the Herrada brothers, told Cyclingnews in the aftermath of the victory of his client.
1 Jesús Herrada (Spa) Movistar Team 5:08:45
2 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:05
3 Jon Izaguirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:06
4 Daniel Moreno (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:11
5 Carlos Barbero (Spa) Movistar Team
6 Eduard Prades (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
7 Mikel Landa (Spa) Team Sky 0:00:15
8 Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:20
9 Oscar Hernandez (Spa) Louletano 0:00:22
10 Sergio Rodriguez (Spa) Fundación Euskadi 0:00:25
11 Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team
12 Angel Madrazo (Spa) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
13 Beñat Txoperena (Spa) Euskadi Murias
14 Jesus Ezquerra (Spa) Tavira Sporting
15 Mikel Iturria (Spa) Euskadi Murias 0:00:28
16 Ivan Garcia (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
17 Oscar Pujol (Spa) Team Ukyo
18 Oscar Sevilla (Spa) Medellin 0:00:42
19 Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar Team
20 Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar Team
21 Luis Mas (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
22 Juanjo Aguero (Spa) Aldro
23 Gonzalo Serrano (Spa) Club Ciclista Urbasa – Caja Rural 0:01:06
24 Diego Rubio (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:01:17
25 Victor De La Parte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:30
26 Jon Irisarri (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:01:41
27 Antonio Molina (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:02:24
28 Noel Martin (Spa) Kuota C. Paulino 0:03:28
29 Francisco Garcia (Spa) Gsport Val. Wolfbike
30 Antonio J. Soto (Spa) Lizarte
31 Benjamin Prades (Spa) Team Ukyo
32 David De La Fuente (Spa) Louletano
33 Juan A. Lopez-Cozar (Spa) Fundación Euskadi
34 Pablo Torres (Spa) Burgos-BH
35 Iñaki Gozalbez (Spa) Mutua Levante
36 Pedro Merino (Spa) Supermerc. Froiz
37 Oscar Rodriguez (Spa) Euskadi Murias
38 Oscar Pelegri (Spa) Club Ciclista Urbasa – Caja Rural
39 Daniel Dominguez (Spa) Key Look
40 Ibai Salas (Spa) Burgos-BH
41 Iker Azkarate (Spa) Club Ciclista Urbasa – Caja Rural
42 Antonio Angulo (Spa) La Alum. Metalusa
43 Jose M. Gutierrez (Spa) Kuwait Cartucho.Es
44 Carlos A. Jimenez (Spa) Burgos-BH
45 Raul Garcia De Mateos (Spa) Alumin. Cortizo
46 Manuel Jimenez (Spa) Controlpack 0:03:37
47 Martinez D.M. Raul (Spa) Hostal Latorre 0:03:41
48 Rafael Marquez (Spa) Inteja Dominicana C.T.
49 Daniel Sanchez (Spa) Radio Pop. Boavista 0:03:44
50 José Manuel Díaz (Spa) Israel Cycling Academy
51 Sergio Casanova (Spa) Un Natural Greatness
52 Juan Perez (Spa) W52/FC Porto
53 Gabriel Reguero (Spa) Differdange Losch
54 Salvador Guardiola (Spa) Team Ukyo
55 Ismael Barba (Spa) Supermerc. Froiz
56 Oscar Cabedo (Spa) Escribano Sports T. 0:03:52
57 Alvaro Trueba (Spa) Efapel
58 Mikel Aristi (Spa) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
59 Jose Herrada (Spa) Movistar Team 0:03:54
60 Jonathan Lastra (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:03:58
61 Albert Torres (Spa) Inteja Dominicana C.T. 0:04:05
62 Jesus Alberto Rubio (Spa) Inteja Dominicana C.T.
63 Bernat Font (Spa) Gsport Val. Wolfbike
64 Julio Amores (Spa) Inteja Dominicana C.T. 0:04:29
65 Javier Megias (Spa) Team Novo Nordisk
66 Llibert Senchoss (Spa) Kolss Cycling Team
67 Ivan Martinez (Spa) Gsport Val. Wolfbike
68 Francisco Ventoso (Spa) BMC Racing Team
69 Víctor Etxeberria (Spa) Radio Pop. Boavista
70 Sergio Pardilla (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
71 Jokin Etxabe (Spa) Aevollo Pro 0:04:36
72 Carlos Verona (Spa) Orica-Scott 0:04:54
73 Marcos Garcia (Spa) Kinan Cycling T.
74 Ion Insausti (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
75 Egoitz Fernandez (Spa) Team Ukyo
76 Mikel Elorza (Spa) Amore & Vita
77 Miguel Benito (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
78 Aritz Bagues (Spa) Euskadi Murias
79 Jorge Arcas Peña (Spa) Movistar Team 0:05:01
80 Miguel Llaneza (Spa) Kuota C. Paulino 0:05:07
81 Miguel Gomez (Spa) Supermerc. Froiz
82 Manuel Sola (Spa) Club Ciclista Urbasa – Caja Rural 0:05:13
83 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Hangar 15 Bicycles
84 Jorge Cubero (Spa) Burgos-BH 0:05:19
85 Jesus Montero (Spa) Bicic. Rodriguez Extrem.
86 Aitor Gonzalez (Spa) Euskadi Murias 0:05:34
87 David Arroyo (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:05:40
88 Angel Gutierrez (Spa) Ec Cartucho – Magro 0:06:07
89 Iñigo Ojeda (Spa) Telco’M Q. Step 0:06:13
90 Mikel Bizkarra (Spa) Euskadi Murias 0:07:26
91 Victor Martinez (Spa) Controlpack 0:08:07
92 Jesus Merino (Spa) Supermerc. Froiz
93 Oscar Linares (Spa) Burgos-BH
94 Jaime Roson (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
95 Mikel Ezkieta (Spa) Lizarte
96 Gotzon Udondo (Spa) Euskadi Murias
97 Marcos Jurado (Spa) Burgos-BH
98 Antonio Pedrero (Spa) Movistar Team
99 Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga (Spa) Lizarte
100 Adrian Gonzalez (Spa) Euskadi Murias 0:13:07
101 Alvaro Robredo (Spa) Burgos-BH 0:13:51
102 Beñat Etxabe (Spa) Gomur Liebana 2017
103 Jacobo Ucha (Spa) W52/FC Porto 0:15:40