Vicente Hernaiz: “In the Copa de España you can´t ride calm, because then you won’t achieve anything”
The Pucelan Vicente Hernaiz was one of the names of the season, an atypical season, 2020. The cyclist from Valladolid showed great consistency in a complex campaign. Hernaiz fought for the overall Copa de España until the final, at the Memorial Valenciaga (he finished third), and managed to score a prestigious victory such as the Trofeo San José.
An interesting campaign after which comes a change of category, the elite. The maximum illusions for the new year, but also the feet on the ground. “I am not thinking about the future beyond this year, but I am clear that another year in this category I would not like to be. I think it is practically the last chance to make the leap to professionalism, it is a reality. There are not many elite second year riders who will make it. The objective of this season is to do well, to ride very well. It’s the way to that opportunity,” he reflects.
Hernaiz has been one of the most outstanding riders last year. “It’s a conversation that is in all the groups, that this winter there have been some strange signings. The last few years have been like that. Triathletes are tendy, skiers are in fashion, juniors are trendy… Don’t understand it as a criticism, but as the confirmation of a reality. This in the end eclipses a value such as regularity, such as the difficulty of being well for three months. People do not see that. It is not the same to walk for three months as it is for three weeks”.
From his year 2020, a great change stands out, an increase in self-confidence thanks to that regularity. “Winning is very difficult, but you arrive at the races with the certainty that you are well, that you have done the job well, that you are going to walk. You arrive at the races with confidence. It’s a big difference. Questioned about the moment he never forgot, he has no doubts: “The Valenciaga, and specifically the last climb. I think I ran very well, that things were done well. They did not go out, but it was not because it was done wrong. You don’t race alone, your rivals also count. It was missing a finish. In the Vuelta a Valencia I would have liked to have been in better shape, because the sensations were good”.
Looking ahead to 2021, Hernaiz sets himself a very clear objective: the Copa de España. “I would like to do well in the Cup, achieve a couple of victories and be in the fight for the overall, at least. Very ambitious? What a minimum! We have to go for everything. In the Cup you can’t go with a ‘I’m going to see how it goes’, because then you won’t achieve anything. You have to go with a different attitude,” he assesses. Optimistic about his performance? “Yes, I think that the Cup will be played without a problem. Other races have it even more difficult, especially until May. But the Cup is a strong competition, with many interests behind sponsors and institutions”.