Fran Muñoz rides a fantastic ride to triumph in a waterlogged Gran Premio Primavera de Ontur
LXVIII Gran Premio Primavera / Copa de España
Ontur – Ontur (172,3 km)
Fran Muñoz from Barcelona achieved his most outstanding victory as U23 rider on Monday by winning an edition of the Gran Premio Primavera de Ontur in which the water was more decisive than the wind and a large pile-up in the middle of the race also contributed to the selection. It is the second consecutive victory of the U23 structure of the Fundación Contador both in this edition of the Spanish Cup and in the race in Albacete. The finishing touch came from Andrea Pietrobon, third in the peloton’s volata, fourth at the finish line in Pozo Street and new leader of the general classification..
Muñoz went on the attack on the final circuit, with two laps to go, and when he was riding alone in the lead, thirty seconds ahead of the British rider Painter. The Latoba rider had been the last exponent of the offensives that took place during the day, skirmishes in which Ramón Fernández, Manuel Oioli and Pablo Uría were also involved on behalf of the blue team and which reached the first stage of the final circuit. Midway through the race, a bunch split the peloton into three groups, with the race being decided between the first two riders. Marcel Camprubí and Andrea Pietrobon were cut off. While the Italian was able to save the situation, the Catalan finally retired with some discomfort in his right hand.
Showing his power, the rider from Mataró eventually reached the head of the race to ride with up to 50 seconds at the start of the last and decisive lap. An unbeatable scenario to show his power. In the end, he finished just one second ahead of a group that had been launched and in which Andoni López de Abetxuko and Andrea Pietrobon took second and third place. Manuel Oioli, eighth, and Javi Serrano, ninth, completed the presence of four riders of the EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team in the top ten of the race in La Mancha. The team victory went to the blue squad and the U23 team also added the success of Ramón Fernández in the overall special sprints.
“I can’t say enough, I’m overjoyed”, says Muñoz, exultant. “Already in Aiztondo, where Fernando won, we were close. I felt that I had good legs, that the condition was good and I believed that sooner or later a victory could come. My team-mates did a fantastic job. In the final part both Ramón and Oioli as well as Pablo have been very attentive to the cuts. In a move where a Gomur rider stood out, I went after him, opened up a couple of metres and, as there were two laps to go, I said to myself why not try it”.
Two very intense laps in which Muñoz was on his AURUM. “I like this terrain, although I didn’t know the new circuit at the end. But I like it, it’s a very rolling terrain where you can only open the way. With the bends, the steep slopes and the water, it’s sometimes difficult to get organised and in the chasing group I was well covered by my team-mates. The rain? I’m not bad at racing in the rain, there are people who get rid of themselves in these conditions. You have to keep a cool head and manage it”.
Rafa Díaz Justo, director of EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team U23: “We expected a tough race because of the wind, but in the end it didn’t blow as expected and it was very calm. We all expected things to happen around kilometre 70, which is where they usually happen, but it was a bit later and because of a big pile-up when the group split into three. Two groups came together and they were the ones that entered the final circuit. There we had the plan to attack, among others with Fran and Andrea, and this idea was finally put into practice. A very nice victory, very important; but it doesn’t change our mindset, we continue race by race without thinking any further ahead”.
Andrea Pietrobon is the new leader of the Spanish Cup: “We are still in the fight, race by race. Today was a very tough race, with very adverse conditions. The team worked very well and we are still in a good line”.