Alessandro Fancellu and Alejandro Ropero border on victory in Beasain’s Loinatz Proba
XCII Loinatz Proba
Beasain-Beasain (144.7 kilometres)
The Kometa Cycling Team under 23 caressed the victory this Sunday in the demanding Loinatz Proba of Beasain and also did so in double. The Italian Alessandro Fancellu, bronze medalist in the past World Championships in Innsbruck in the junior category, and the Granada Alejandro Ropero, who was returning to the competition with the Madrid team, finished second and third in an appointment, the Basque one, in which the victory corresponded to the Guipuzcoan Unai Iribar (Laboral Kutxa). In the Loinatz Proba, the great protagonism of the Kometa Cycling Team had the small reward of the overall victory by teams. Not in vain, it was a Sunday where the squad set a very outstanding group performance.
Fancellu and Ropero were involved in the arrival of a race that is always arduous and tiring for its route and in which the ascents to Mandubia and Olaberria within the last 25 kilometers, and in a context of a lot of fighting, again became key. Both, Fancellu and Ropero, had reached the decisive phase forming part of the twenty runners that opened the race for the ascent to Olaberria, with its summit less than seven kilometres to the end. A leading group that was born the neutralization of a dangerous escape after a great work of all the team of the Alberto Contador Foundation, with the Colombian Jhon Stiven Ramirez imperial in those labors. “I had tried before, but leaving was very difficult. In the end I have helped as much as I could. I was very clear that there were teammates who could do very well in the sprint, as it was”, explains the South American.
He was not the only representative of the Kometa; among those twenty riders was also Álex Martín. The Catalan, who in the first kilometers was involved in one of the various crashes that complicated the first third of the race, an incident that even forced him to change shoes as a result of a break, was one of the great protagonists of the last bars of the race. Martin did not hesitate to launch an attack and test it, being hunted one kilometer from the finish.
It had already been seen, however. “The fall was a small setback, no more, because there was still a lot of race left”, explains the Barcelona rider. “In the last climb I already tried it and I managed to crown several more riders, three of them coming from the breakaway. The group caught us later, after the descent, and I chose to start. I’m not fast and all my options went through a movement like that. I managed to catch quite a gap, but from the finish line they have organised themselves behind and they neutralised me”. Iribar, supported by his teammate Iker Ballarín, would take advantage of the short distance from the last turn to the finish line to consolidate his victory.
“Today it was an hard day. I tried to attack alone at -25km to the finish line but after we arrived in a small group at the sprint. At the final I felt good legs and I try to do a good sprint but I didn’t won. Anyway, we will try again in the next races”, tolds Fancellu.
“We stayed very close, it was a pity, because today we were the strongest. The race had been very difficult to start, with a lot of falls. Then there was a leak in which we took one of our own, but in which there were very good people and facing the final climbs could get complicated,” explains Rafa Diaz Justo, director of the Kometa Cycling Team. “Although we have tried for a good part of the race not to work too much, or to work as little as possible, in the face of that end we have started to pull very fast to try to cut down on time. Jhon Stiven worked hard when the leak was 1:40 and he alone reduced the advantage a lot. Already at the top, a start by Alessandro allowed us to fill the big gap and give way to a race phase in which about twenty riders were in front of us. It’s also a shame that Alex attacked him, taking him in the last kilometre”.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)