Ropero, brilliant in the ‘dekana’: sensational second place in Legazpi and Cup options before Macario
86th Santacruz Classical / Santikutz Klasika
Legazpi-Legazpi (147 km)
On Labor Day, a great work. Alejandro Ropero from Granada caressed the victory in the penultimate round of the Elite and U23 Spanish Cup, a passionate Santikutz Klasika in which Oier Lazkano (Caja Rural) from Alava won ahead of the Andalusian and Iván Moreno (Lizarte) from Castellon. The three played the victory in Legazpi after Lazkano and Ropero stood out at the head of the race in the always decisive ascent to Alto de Deskarga and that, three kilometers from the end, gave them reach Moreno.
The last climb, faithful to tradition, was fundamental in the resolution of the race and in it the riders of the Kometa Cycling Team never refused to be protagonists. Arturo Grávalos from La Rioja attacked in the first few bars, leading the race with a few seconds of margin until a series of hostilities were unleashed in the select group of pursuers, to which Carlos García and Alejandro Ropero were always very attentive. Grávalos anticipated the battle and looked for surprise. “They were rolling back very strong, but we had to try, if you do not try, you never know if it could have been achieved,” said the Riojan.
García, for his part, covered up a hollow danger for Eusebio Pascual, the first major attack. “We had to help Alejandro in whatever way we could”, he adds. And in the vicinity of the summit the Andalusian cyclist saw very clear Lazkano’s attack, clung to his wheel and squeezed to fill the gap. Ropero, superlative in the resistance, would manage to go with Lazkano and both would throw themselves in a vertiginous descent. Six and a half kilometers to the finish line with a dozen seconds that seemed decisive. Both collaborated in the relays. The arrival of Iván Moreno introduced a small uncertainty due to the proximity of a small group of about eight units.
The cyclist of the Kometa Cycling Team persevered in asking for collaboration and in consolidating the gap and without a doubt he was the key to the trio’s success. “It was very close! Well, the truth is that the feeling of having been there and staying so close is a bit annoying, but I’m also very happy because we’ve cut points and we’re fighting the Cup until the end,” says Ropero.
The day had gone well for the interests of the team, beyond a big crash in the early bars in which was involved Alejandro Regueiro with no more consequence than a change of bicycle, a breakdown of the Colombian Jhon Stiven Ramírez or a puncture by Arturo Gravalos. The pace of the race was very high, at times the platoon was shelled into five small groups and the Madrid formation rolled very grouped at the head protecting Ropero. Up to five riders of the Kometa rolled in a group of about sixty units that rolled halfway through the test in the head of the race where the Caja Rural set the pace.
Rafa Diaz Justo, director of the Kometa Cycling Team: “I am very happy because we have been everywhere as a team, just behind those who were leading the race, and that is something very important. And now we also open a window for the last race, because Alejandro Ropero is third overall and can give the carambola to win the Spanish Cup on the last day. It’s very difficult, but it’s an option that’s there. There are 93 points to the lead, the second is two points … Everything is possible, everything is in the air. And if that possibility were realized it would be very nice and it would give us a plus of tranquility after all the great work done. We came from a technical stop of three weeks and these cycles, at the end, are complicated and present the double circumstance that they can feel good or not. I was clear that we could do well, because the boys had chained many competitions and because the Memorial Valenciaga had not gone well at all”.
Indeed Santikutz provides a lot of motivation for the fight for the final podium of a Spanish Cup that, after a minimum breath, ends this Sunday in Alcalá de Henares with the dispute of a new edition of the Grand Prix Macario. The Catalan Roger Adriá, leader of the event, goes to the Madrid routes with the title very well on track with 512 points, although mathematically could not close after his 19th place in Legazpi. Alejandro Ropero, who occupies third place in the general standings with 419 points after adding 100 this Wednesday in Gipuzkoa, will again lead a squad in which he will be accompanied by Sergio García, Álex Martín, Yago Segovia, Eduardo Pérez-Landaluce, Alessio Acco and Alessandro Fancellu. “The numbers are there, we have title options. The truth is that the stop came to me great. We have worked at home, with a lot of seriousness, in order to improve one more point. I owe it to Carlos Barredo, he is a machine, the merit is his”, concludes.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)
📸 Mertxe Labrador