Vicente Hernaiz seals a great week of cycling in Zamora with a sensational victory in the San José Trophy
73rd Trofeo San José
Ricobayo – Muelas del Pan (155 km)
The Kometa-Xstra Cycling Team U23 in Zamora lands has been crowned. The Pucelan Vicente Hernaiz achieved this Sunday the first victory of the structure in the return of the competition after the stop motivated by the sanitary emergency, the fifth one since the beginning of this season, with his victory in the prestigious Trofeo San José from Muelas del Pan. In the formerly known as Iberdrola Trophy, where riders such as Julio Jiménez, Agustín Tamames, Miguel Indurain or Antonio Martín have won, Hernaiz displayed all his quality to score a prestigious success.
The Spanish-Leonese rider started very strongly in the last repechage, with about three kilometres to go, and caught up with Adrián Cobos (Team Extremadura), who was in the lead of the race with about twenty seconds. Hernaiz persevered in his rhythm, managed to leave in solitary and kneaded a small advantage that allowed him to arrive in solitary to the straight of arrival with nine seconds of margin on two cyclists with past in the Foundation: Raúl García Pierna, ex-rider of the junior team of the Foundation and now in the Lizarte, and Miguel Ángel Ballesteros, ex-member of the u23 and the continental team.
“I am very grateful to my partner Arturo Grávalos, he has done an impressive job. He had already come from the break and he has emptied himself pulling to be able to reach the head of the race. On the steep slope, below, I trusted the director’s words. Rafa told me to start at full speed, I have done, I could catch up with Cobos and as I reached his height I started again so I did not take the wheel, “said the new winner.
A big part of the difficulty of the Trofeo San José was concentrated in the last fifty kilometers, with four ascents that for sure were going to harden the race. After a new frenetic start, with many alternatives at the head of the race without substantial differences and even some moments of additional tension due to some temporary fans, a group of seven riders, including Arturo Grávalos, arrived at the most broken area leading the race. The Riojan had left the pack around kilometre 60 of the race to try to catch up, successfully in his company, with one of the movements that took place at that time. The seven fellow travellers entered the last 50 kilometres with a five-minute advantage trying to reduce the work of Caja Rural and Froiz in the peloton. Effectively.
On the ascent to Villadepera, with the peloton very close, the break was broken. Grávalos continued to lead with Íñigo González, riding with about twenty seconds on a main group from which several cyclists stood out. Among them, Vicente Hernaiz. It would end up forming a group of nine units within the last 20 kilometers. In Miralcampo, Adrián Cobos would attack in the vanguard of the race, amassing a score of seconds that at times seemed definitive. But Arturo Grávalos worked intensely for his team-mate’s options and was fundamental in containing any subsequent attacks from other members of the breakaway. The Riojan would finally finish tenth, one minute behind Hernaiz.
“The truth is that I was looking forward to this race. In the Vuelta a Zamora, things didn’t go well for me and I arrived well. I trusted the team and the director and everything went perfectly. The confinement at the end was complicated for all of us, but when it was over and little by little a certain normality returned, from the first moment I felt very good physically”, continues Hernaiz”.
Rafa Díaz Justo, director of the Kometa-Xstra Cycling Team u23: “A nice victory in an important, long and hard race. From the start he went very fast. A very good breakaway has been created for our interests with Arturo and other four more riders in a moment where ahead were other two. When they all got together in the lead, some problems started because they didn’t all collaborate in the front and that made them lose a lot of time in a few kilometers. Arturo insisted on a moment in which, with people coming from behind, among them Vicente, a new escape of nine cyclists has been formed. But very quickly it broke again, some riders went ahead. An absolute ten for Arturo, who work so hard for his partner. And a great attack by Vicente, who was riding with twenty seconds lost and who managed to reduce almost half of it at the start”.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)
📸 Álvaro García / El Pelotón (1, 2 y 3)