An anniversary Memorial Valenciaga, again with the final in Arrate, takes up the Spanish Cup
50º Memorial Valenciaga
Eibar – Santuario Arrate (153 km)
At last, fifty editions of the Valenciaga Memorial. A magical number, with the charm of round numbers in a list of winners. Days to celebrate. Although with the utmost precautions and caution due to the persistence of COVID-19. The iconic Gipuzkoan race returns to its traditional dates, but maintaining the route adopted in 2020 to avoid crowds at the finish line or in urban environments. There will be no finish line in the central Toribio Etxebarria Kalea. The Valenciaga Golden Jubilee Memorial will once again finish in front of the Sanctuary of Arrate.
It will therefore be a Valenciaga Memorial that can be considered to have a high finish, although the last kilometre to the vicinity of the shrine is downhill. Up to this point, from the streets of Eibar, there are just over five kilometres that concentrate all their toughness in the first three kilometres, which are always very close to 10%. A major climb that will be accompanied by the Altos de Itziar, Aia, a first ascent towards Arrate up to the Alto de Ixua and the Alto de San Miguel. Very demanding terrain, which requires solid and strong teams.
The EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team of the foundation goes with the Cantabrian Álvaro García, Vicente Hernaiz, the Asturian Edu Pérez-Landaluce, the Spaniard Fernando Tercero, the Andalusian Mario Vilches and the Catalans Arnau Gilabert and Álex Martín. With regard to Aiztondo, practically the same block. With respect to the 2020 edition, which started with David Martín as leader of the Cup and Vicente Hernaiz fighting for the title, four cyclists repeat (Álex, Eduardo, Mario and Vicente).
Seventh in the Valenciaga was Mario Vilches from Jaén: “In the end it’s the race that you always hear everyone talking about when you race as an amateur. It’s also very special for me because it was the first race where I managed to stand out in this category and I was close to the podium. You always want to come back and get to the front and the dream of trying to win it. We have a great team, I think we are doing things well and the victories have to come. Why not here?”.
Álvaro García, one of the team’s reinforcements this season: “The Valenciaga is special because of the track record, the toughness and the fans. That combination makes it one of the most important races on the calendar, and the winner almost always moves up to the professional ranks. That makes it even more special. I have already raced here both my first and second year in the category, although with the change of route I don’t know it. The mountain passes, of course, are well known. Many races on the Basque calendar take place on these roads. As for the team, I think we have a good chance of doing well and even winning. We have a very well-balanced team. Vicente is very strong and we will certainly have to help him. I’m sure we’ll have a lot of fun”.
Álex Martín faces the Valenciaga with a good pedal stroke after competing a few days ago in the Trofeo Piva and the Giro del Belvedere, two of the most important races in the U23 category of the world calendar. “They have been two races in which we have learned a lot. It was a contact with the top U23 level to see where we really are”, said the Catalan.