The month of May saw the Copa de Espana’s come to an end with my last escapade coming at Legazpi in the Basque country, lots of training and 2 races that mirrored the UK “criterium” format which is very familiar to me.
Firstly, the copa de Espana in the Basque Country was certainly a big statement of just how hard these races can be. The parcours made it’s impression, even in the recon the day before. Big, tough climbs and lots of them. I knew from the very start that this would be the toughest race to just finish and the team knew this too, I was told just give it everything and learn from the experience and that’s exactly what I did. This was the first race I’ve done that included real descents and having to use skill to corner faster rather than a straight down hill road. I made up some places and closed some gaps after the bunch was stretched over a climb at the start. Unfortunately, I couldn’t hold the pace after around 50km in. I rode the 10km back to the start town of Legazpi and cheered my teammates through as a couple were still in a good position. Overall I was disappointed with this race as I wanted to firstly get further into the race and ideally finish but hopefully it will come next year.
After some hard training sessions to avoid a repeat of Legazpi’s disappointment. Both me and my housemate Santiago went with our coach Cesar Neira to Fuenlbrada for a crit style race around a 6.4km circuit through the town of Fuenlbrada. It was a fast race with both Santi and I attacking but Santi made the bridge to the then breakaway which turned out to be the winning break for Santi to take the victory. I held my own as I was the only Escribano rider in the race so it was not up to me to chase 4 riders down by myself. I made sure I was in a good position for the sprint for what turned out to be third as the bunch caught 2 of the break and I came home 9th overall and 6th under 23. I had good feelings in this race and even though I was disappointed to not win, I took the positives and congratulated Santi on a deserved win.
As I’m writing this, I raced this morning at a similar but longer criterium race in Tres Cantos. 80km with 25 laps around a 3.2km circuit with a very testing finishing climb. This time, I had 6 teammates from Escribano and I wanted to do as well as I could. Frustratingly, my legs didn’t respond in the way I had hoped. I put in some good efforts, primarily an attack to bridge over to a break to close it for my teammates but after giving everything, I got dropped and didn’t finish. On a lighter note my teammate Arturo came a solid 3rd and Escribano won the team competition so I am really happy for my team and Arturo!
Hopefully after some more good training, my legs will be in a place that I can once again raise my arms in victory.
Thanks as always to Cesar and Escribano for all their help and thank you to Pedal Potential for their support.
See you in the next blog