Davide Piganzoli comes close to victory in the Santikutz Klasika: second in a very tight sprint with Alejandro Franco
88º Santikutz Klasika / Copa de España
Legazpi – Legazpi (154,1 km)
Italian rider Davide Piganzoli came close to victory this Sunday in a fast-paced and demanding Santikutz Klasika in which a move made by him and Alejandro Franco from Valladolid on the last lap of the very tough circuit was crucial for the outcome of the race. In the tight, tight sprint, Franco beat Piganzoli practically over the finish line, his second final position in a 2022 Spanish Cup race after his formidable performance in the recent Memorial Valenciaga. In Legazpi, in the last edition, Piga was also a protagonist and came close to the final podium.
With a breakaway at the front, first a quintet, then a quartet, and finally an individual with the signature of Jorge Gálvez, almost half of this edition of the iconic event in Gipuzkoa took place. With the chase on, and with the race entering its decisive moment, several numerous movements sought to consolidate themselves at the head of the race, movements in which the U23 structure of the Foundation was present with Andrea Pietrobon and Javi Serrano, in a group of eight units that reached 50″, or Gabriele Raccagni, in another later movement also of seven units.
#SantikutzKlasika. El apretado y disputado sprint entre Davide Piganzoli y Alejandro Franco con el que se ha resuelto esta edición de la @SantikutzKlasi 2022.
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Once the previous group had been caught, on the penultimate climb to Atziria, Piganzoli and Franco broke away. The race entered a dynamic of multiple movements behind while Piganzoli and Franco managed to amass more than a minute and a half of margin. Two good climbers who collaborated well and made their way. On the last climb to Aztiria, seven kilometres from the finish, Piganzoli attacked Franco and tried to drop him. Initially he succeeded, but Franco found a rhythm that allowed him to retake the wheel. Apart from some further acceleration from Piga on the flat and near the finish line, the pair came together on the final straight, where a tight sprint went Franco’s way.
“It was close, very close. At some point I saw that the possibility of winning this race was very real. It couldn’t be, but if you don’t fight for it, it certainly can’t be. I love this race. In 2021 I finished fourth here, I really liked the course. This year I tried to move where last year I was left off the wheel. I wanted to repeat that move. But Franco was really strong and I have to congratulate him”, explained Davide Piganzoli after the podium ceremony.
Rafa Díaz Justo, director of EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team U23. “A very nice result with a very young rider, who is in his second year in the category and that a year ago, in his first year as U23, he was already seen here. Victory was close, as was another place on the podium with Fernando, who finished fourth, but the race that Piganzoli and the whole team rode was one to remember. The Santikutz Klasika is a very deceptive race, without a flat metre; a race that generates a lot of wear and tear and in which it is not easy to manage fatigue”.
After the race in Gipuzkoa, where EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team was the best team of the day in the classification by squads (like 2021), Andoni López de Abetxuko from Alava is still leading the overall overall of the Cup, while Fran Muñoz is second and leads the overall among the U23 riders.
[📷 Santikutz Klasika (1), Mertxe Labrador (3, 4)]