Fran Muñoz climbs to the absolute leadership of the Cup in Padrón, where Javi Serrano finishes third
IX Clásica de Pascua Rutas Xacobeas / Copa de España
Padrón – Padrón (165,5 km)
Productive performance of the U23 team of the Contador Foundation in the penultimate round of the Spanish Cup 2022. In the Clásica de Pascua – Rutas Xacobeas, Fran Muñoz from Barcelona, who started with the red and yellow jersey as the first U23, climbed to the absolute leadership of the Cup. Muñoz finished fourth in this edition of the Galician race, in which the Uruguayan Eric Fagúndez (Aluminios Cortizo) won alone and in which the rider from Madrid Javi Serrano finished third and climbed the podium.
The race, which was stopped for about 45 minutes due to the transfers to health centres that the ambulances had to make (from these lines, a speedy recovery for all those affected), was decided in the very hard ascent to Aguasantas, still with 30 kilometres to go. It was there that Fagúndez made his move to reach the head of the race, which at that moment was occupied by Andrea Montoli and Vicente Hernaiz. Earlier there had been several breakaways. In one, which led the race before the neutralisation, was Marcel Camprubí on his return to competition after overcoming an injury.
➡ Sensacional victoria del ciclista del Aluminios Cortizo tras marcharse en solitario en el alto de Aguasantas.
— Real Federación Española de Ciclismo (@RFECiclismo) May 7, 2022
The Uruguayan amassed a lead of close to 50 seconds that he managed to defend on the subsequent, vertiginous terrain. Behind, the EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team was pushing as hard as possible on the ascent to try to catch the leader of the Cup and prolonged this lively pace to prevent him from coming back on the descent. In the end the situation of race gave a nice pulse between the escapee and the chasing group, a dozen at the summit of Aguasantas and 23 riders in the subsequent terrain.
Javi Serrano: “Personally I’m very happy, because I’ve had a bad few weeks and this gives me a lot of morale to keep fighting. The whole team did a great job today and it was a pity that we couldn’t catch the escaped rider to fight for the victory. I’m also very happy to see Fran up there, it gives us a lot of peace of mind for the last race of the Cup, in Vigo, which is going to be very hard. Before that, this Sunday, we have another very nice race in Galicia. It’s another nice opportunity and we hope to make the most of it. The safe thing to do is to enjoy the Galician roads”.
Fran Muñoz, new leader of the Cup: “We planned a day on the offensive, knowing that the terrain was good to take the lead and try to win the race. The team did an excellent job, all the team-mates did a great job. So all in all, I’m very happy. Now, from now on, we are ready for the next races”.
Beppe de María, director of the U23 team on Saturday in Padrón: “We are very happy with the way the day went, the team did a fantastic job all day long. The strategy that we had discussed with the guys went very well. In the end, the idea was to take advantage of the hardest climb to select the group as much as possible, to distance López de Abetxuko and try not to let him come back on the favourable terrain afterwards. For that reason and for the possibility of being able to fight for the victory, we worked so hard in the last kilometres. All in all, it was a good day, but the Cup is not over yet and we continue race by race because there is still a very tough race to come. And before that, this Sunday, we have another chance to do something nice in Betanzos”.
[📷 El Peloton]