The Memorial Manuel Sanroma opens the season of the Kometa Cycling Team U23
Cycling has been dressed in mourning on several occasions throughout its centennial history, but on June 19, 1999 the sadness and grief had a more bitter point by the circumstances. At the end of a stage of the Volta a Catalunya that year, in the streets of Vilanova i la Geltrú, a very young sprinter named Manuel Sanroma went to the ground and hit a sidewalk with lethal consequences. He was barely 22 years old, but he had stood out as a sprinter of much future thanks to his boldness and his naturalness.
His partial victory in one stage of the Vuelta a Valencia, a finish in which he beat his idol Mario Cipollini, the same one who was affected by his attitude in the volata, catapulted him to a notoriety that he endorsed with four stages in the Vuelta al Alentejo (where a year before he had achieved another partial success) and two in the Vuelta a Asturias. A vertiginous sporting growth in a modest structure, always in need of success, which deepened the drama and tragedy of its unexpected and even today felt loss.
The world of cycling has not forgotten him, no. And in the manchega Almagro, his birthplace, where a sculpture reminds him for posterity in the surroundings of the Municipal Sports Pavilion Ciudad de Almagro, the cycling club that his man carries has been promoting for twenty editions a Memorial that in recent times is disputed in two days under the formula of the Challenge. A Memorial Manuel Sanroma that will be the first race of the season of the Kometa Cycling Team under 23. The Madrid team, directed by Rafa Díaz Justo, has its new colours with Carlos García, Sergio García, Arturo Grávalos, Eduardo Pérez-Landaluce, Alejandro Regueiro, Alejandro Ropero and Yago Segovia. A seven with three of the new faces, the Riojan Grávalos and the Asturians Pérez-Landaluce and Segovia, which incorporates into the squad for this year.
For Saturday, in the afternoon and with estimated arrival around 17:30, a first stage with start and finish in the always rich in cobblestones Almagro that will cover 100 kilometers and will consist of three laps to a circuit that includes passes through Pozuelo de Calatrava and Valenzuela de Calatrava. On Sunday, with the same beginning and end, the organization proposes 145 kilometers in which cyclists will have to face the Alto de Hortezuelas (1,011 m; 5.5 km at 5.7%) and the Alto del Reventón, as well as a very winding terrain near the town of El Viso del Marqués. An expected arrival around 13:30 hours. The Memorial Sanroma, in sport, is a race that brings good memories to the structure: last year, as part of the second stage, the Albanian Giulano Kamberaj, who started the same within the discipline of training before returning to Italian amateur cycling, made his debut there.
“The first race of the year always has the uncertainty of seeing what your level is, the level of others and how is the state of form of everyone,” explains Carlos Garcia. “We’re really looking forward to it, with a very good team. The Kometa has a very high level, I have a lot of confidence in the team. Personally I have an incredible desire to start competing. It’s two days when we don’t have the best terrain for us, but on the second day there’s a small door in the middle of the stage and, well, I’m going with a lot of confidence. I know the work has been good. The desire is enormous. We all know what we have to do, we are going to win and, of course, play a good role in Almagro. Personally I’m sure I’ll have a chance to let myself be seen”.
“I’m looking forward to making my debut in these new colours. I think it will be a race that can be decided by the wind factor and that is something that can benefit us, because we have a director who defends well in these circumstances. The team arrives in good shape and we have to use it to fight for everything in the Sanroma”, reflects Arturo Grávalos before the race that will be his official debut in competition with the Kometa Cycling Team under23.
XX Memorial Manolo Sanroma 2019.
16 February: Almagro-Almagro (100 km).
17 February: Almagro-Almagro (145 km).
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)