A cycling season has a lot to offer. Many races, many situations, many moments, moments that define or sentence, fundamental seconds… One-day races, in stages; many days of competition full of sporting and human experiences. It is always difficult to condense, and also very unfair for all those contributions that in a summary will not appear, anonymous in the condensation and indispensable in the vital baggage. But these are six moments of the 2018 academic year at Polartec-Kometa sub23.
1. The last stage in the Vuelta a Bidasoa.
In one of the most prestigious events of the state amateur calendar, a portentous performance. The Vuelta al Bidasoa ended with a stage of less than 80 kilometres with start and finish in Irún. The Italian Alessandro Covi attacks early and, taking advantage of a certain absent-mindedness in the pack, he got a very dangerous time gap for the leadership of Juan Pedro López, gap that faced almost two minutes. The Andalusian, after a great work of all the Polartec-Kometa, ended up assuming the reins of the defense in the demanding ascent to Erlaitz, with Covi more than half a minute ahead. The two would end up coming together in the lead within the last ten kilometres. López had managed to defend his yellow with a great exhibition in a victory that would be his springboard, a few days later, to the continental team of the Fundación Alberto Contador.
2. Carlos García’s paddle in Navarre.
A very hard stage in the Navarrese Pyrenees, an outstanding performance. One of the maxims of cycling, of the sport itself, praises the difficulty of victories. Winning is not easy, it is said. And the road, even less so. In what has been his first season in the category, Carlos García Pierna has left several moments to remember. One of them was his comeback in the fourth stage of the Vuelta a Navarra, with a finish in the Alto de Muskilda, a 130 km day in which mechanical breakdowns seemed to have erased him from the dispute of the day and the general. A break in his change after a touch with a rival’s bike, more than 50 km to the end, delayed him more than a minute of the group of favourites just before the concreted Alto de Orbaiceta, a very hard climb. Initially it collapsed, in tears. But it was reworked. First supported by his teammates, then alone, then in a group of seven units, ended up at the head of the race to finish eighth, 29 seconds from the winner.
3. The blue-and-white train on the roads of Seville.
Story with one of the happiest possible endings. José Antonio García from Granada, future Polartec-Kometa continental rider, ended up winning the final overall of the Challenge Vuelta a Sevilla driven by his victory in the second and last race, the Clasica Velá de Triana. A double success that was the icing on the cake of a great collective work of the whole Madrid team. In many races it has been possible to see this campaign the block of the Polartec-Kometa working at the head of the pack, reacting or facing the most diverse situations of the race, but in few tests as in Andalusia the team displayed such aesthetic power. Rolling grouped around his asset, with clear ideas, contributing all his grain of sand in an excited all for one … The collective is a great value within the team and this test was one of the best examples of the course.
4. The regularity of Ropero and Pastor.
Alejandro Ropero from Granada and Jorge Pastor from Alicante are another two of the mainstays of the Polartec-Kometa U23 and during the whole season they have been very active, setting up a great calendar of laps full of classifications among the first ten of their generals. Ropero had the opportunity to compete in the professional team as stagiaire during the Vuelta a Burgos, where he was seen for a couple of days. Pastor was chosen to participate in Bormio’s preparation stage at the beginning of June, where the continental team faced its Italian presentation and set its preparation for two important objectives such as the Giro Baby and the Giro del Valle de Aosta.
5. Scream in Alcantarilla, ridden in Momparler.
Until his jump to the continental structure, Juan Pedro López has been one of the great animators of the 2018 Spanish Cup. In mid-March, the Sevillian rider won an important victory in the third round of the competition, the historic Trofeo Guerrita de Alcantarilla (Murcia), after beating the Galician runner Cristian Mota in an intense hand to hand. Weeks later, during the Memorial Momparler, López was again a great protagonist of the test to try a solo attack with more than 40 kilometers to go to the finish line. It was a personal bet of the runner of Lebrija that in some moments made all the members of the team dream awake. In the sprint where the race was resolved José Antonio García signed a remarkable second place.
6. Daniel Viegas, perseverance and sacrifice,
The Portuguese Daniel Viegas is one of the great names of the Polartec-Kometa course. The Algarve cyclist, who makes the leap to professionalism with the help of the professional structure, has stood out as a top-level gregarious, capable of sacrificing himself for many miles with a job not always visible but fundamental in any sports structure. In many of the team’s successes, Faro has been part of it. And in many of the adverse race situations I had managed, too. There were plenty of moments for the more personal display, perhaps with the last stage of the Vuelta a Navarra as a great exponent: Viegas and Julen Amarika form a leak of great racers and give the pack a pulse for many kilometres and with minimal differences. The leak would arrive and the luso would finish second.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)