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"When Erviti and Astarloza went away, we decided to chase on full steam and play our cards in the finale by making things as hard as possible into the climbs,” Herrada said when explaining the team tactics afterwards."

Photo: Movistar




23.06.2013 @ 18:26 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

The Movistar Team continue their impressive streak in the Spanish road race championships as one of their riders claimed the professional title again.


While their two fast men, José Joaquín Rojas and Fran Ventoso, were the ones to take the titles in 2011 and 2012, today youngster Jesús Herrada surprised the older, more experienced riders to win the Spanish national championships and complete a Movistar hat-trick of Spanish titles, beating Jon Izagirre (Euskaltel) after being part of a group that broke clear in the final kilometres of the race. The decisive move also included Angel Madrazo (Movistar), David Arroyo (Caja Rural), Tino Zaballa (Christina Watches) and Mikel Iturria (Euskaltel-Euskadi) but only Herrada and Izagirre managed to remain clear of their pursuers. Luis León Sánchez (Blanco) took the sprint for third place, just five seconds behind Herrada.


The rider from Mota del Cuervo in Cuenca, just 22, will wear the Spanish champion jersey for the next twelve months after winning the race held in Bembibre (León) over 208 kilometres of tricky roads that took their toll over a front group of about 40 riders after a hectic race where the telephone squad always kept control of the situation. Herrada ended up winning with a slender margin over Ion Izagirre (EUS) after the duo stayed away in the final kilometres over a group of favourites.

The event was marked by an opening breakaway of five riders, where the Movistar Team initially put Imanol Erviti before bridging with a superb Fran Ventoso, in a solo pursuit where he took 5 minutes on the leaders. The now-former Spanish champion took command of the escape before dropping with 50k remaining and leaving Erviti alongside Astarloza (EUS) at the front. Movistar Team made the junction with 20k remaining, when Jesús Herrada became the major protagonist of the race. A solo attack in one of the final climbs took him into a group with Ángel Madrazo, Zaballa, Arroyo, Iturria and Izagirre, the man from La Mancha going away again with the Basque at the 2k banner and dropping him for the victory with a finisseur action under the 'flamme rouge'. It's Herrada's second pro victory after taking stage 2a in the Vuelta a Asturias last year, and his fourth Spanish champion jersey after the two claimed in the time trial as junior (2007 and '08) and 2010, in the under-23 ranks.

The Movistar Team will reach the start of the Tour de France with their best victory tally in three years in Blue: 23 triumphs.

"When Erviti and Astarloza went away, we decided to chase on full steam and play our cards in the finale by making things as hard as possible into the climbs,” Herrada said when explaining the team tactics afterwards. “I attacked with Madrazo on one of those, and at the final slope, with 3k to go, I moved again with Izagirre. We cooperated well until the last kilometre when I attacked - I knew it was hard to beat him in a sprint - and it went well. At the strategy talk yesterday, we knew we had seven or eight riders to win, also Fran and Rojas for the sprint, but in the end we decided to give it a try with Ángel or myself to drop the other sprinters. The work from all my teammates was fantastic, and Ventoso's was simply amazing. His labour, as well as Imanol's, was crucial so we could ride easy behind and work only in the finale. We had a strong majority at the decisive point of the race and we took advantage of it. If they had told me yesterday I would be winning today, I wouldn't have believed them, but I can't believe it now either. I came here with the intention of doing a good race in the TT, but it didn't go well. This gives me confidence for the future, because 2012 wasn't a good season for me - despite the win in Asturias, it turned out badly for me, and I didn't kick off this season well either - the April classics were hard for me and I couldn't bounce back until the Tour de Suisse. It's hard to know which kind of a rider am I, but I do well in one-week stage races, especially the ones with a TT, and also in hard one-day races. We'll see how I evolve in the future."



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