47th Memorial Valenciaga
Eibar-Eibar (167.5 km)
There are several pedigree races on the spaninsh amateur cycling, but the Memorial Valencianga of Eibar is different. The basque race presents a special atmosphere. The Valenciaga is a Mecca, a dream and a springboard that combines hardness, tradition and commitment. “A seedbed of professionals”, in the words of the Spanish journalist Luis Román Mendoza. The fact that a large number of its winners have made the leap to professionalism since the first edition, 1972, when José Luis Viejo won, has undoubtedly a lot to do with it. Its proximity to Itzulia, which concludes one day earlier, encourages the presence of many directors and representatives of professional teams who come to Eibar to watch over the talents of tomorrow.
There are 167 hard kilometres from Eibar to Eibar. The Ciudad Armera race is not friendly to pure sprinters, but it is to good climbers, complete cyclists and brave runners. The climb of Ixua, with its summit just over twenty kilometres from the end, and San Miguel, twelve kilometres away, is decisive for meeting the winner on Calle Toribio Etxebarria. The last mountains of a menu with six orographical difficulties. It’s the defining moment of Memorial. The distance and the orography are also linked to the weather factor, because rain is not unknown in this race.
Daniele Cantoni, José Antonio García, Carlos García, Juan Pedro López, Jorge Pastor, Alejandro Ropero and Daniel Viegas will defend the colours of Polartec-Kometa in the Eibar classic.
Rafa Díaz Justo, director: “The Memorial Valenciaga is a very deep-rooted race. More than half of its winners have achieved professionalism and many of them have also been high quality riders. All races are important to us, but Valenciaga is one of the hot spots on the calendar because of its hardness, its beauty and the level of participation. To the appointment we arrived with two cyclists, Juan Pedro López and José Antonio García, very well placed in the Spanish Cup GC. We don’t think exclusively of the general classification, but we face the Valenciaga as the race that one day is, we want to do a good job and we come with all our ambition”.
(automatic translation, sorry for any inaccuracies)