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.
See you in the next blog