Race 8 – XXXII Clásica Ciudad de Torredonjimeno

Race 8 – XXXII Clásica Ciudad de Torredonjimeno

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This week’s Copa Espana race was in Torredonjimeno in southern Spain, the 32nd edition of a well established race in the major olive growing region where the famous olive oils and olive oil factories are. My team mate Antonio Gomez kindly let the team stay over at his second home nearby, so I’ve got to say ‘Que bonita!’. So again it was a Saturday drive to our destination and a stopover ready for the race on Sunday morning.

 

The race was the XXXII Clasica Ciudad de Torredonjimeno, another Elite U23 Copa Espana mountain race, 149km in distance with plenty of climbs, including two major cat 1 and cat 2 climbs. This was the 32nd edition of the race that has been run since 1985. I was feeling a little rough at the start due to not getting enough sleep the night before, but once I started racing, my legs quickly woke up. After a lot of crazy crashes last week, the riders this week were very wary and much more nervous. In the first part of the race, my team mate Antonio Gomez punched out into an attack with another 4 riders, and I don’t know how long they were out there for, but once the peloton had caught his group, Antonio had spent all of his energy and looked totally shattered. It’s very difficult to attempt to getaway from the peloton in the Copa Espana.

 

Before the main intensive 8km climb which goes on for more than 20 minutes, we were on a really fast tricky descent. I didn’t have any problem, but it’s important that you stay sharp on these descents, just as I experienced when a rider ahead of me let a gap open up, which we then had to really push hard to bridge it back to the peloton when we reached the bottom of the descent. Once a gap opens on the descent, a lot of energy is used to pull it back on the flat, which then means that you then have to fight harder to stay with the peloton.

 

So we hit the monster climb, and the Spanish pure climbers started hammering out the attacks. The tempo of the peloton went into overdrive and eventually I got slowly dropped at around halfway to the top of the climb. I tried to stay on my team mate’s wheel, Ignacio, who is a spectacular natural climber, but I couldn’t hold on any longer, so I carried on pushing hard at my own max pace. I stayed in my rhythm, and soon I made a group and I was pulling a few riders as well. After a seriously long climb I was very happy to finally see the summit, as my legs were totally seizing up. I was the second rider in my team to pass the summit, and I was fighting hard to get some points for the team.

 

Throughout the race there were several attacks going off the front, but the peloton would always pull them back eventually. After passing the second big climb, which was also insane, we were on a 10km high speed descent, where sometimes a sharp bend would appear out of nowhere, which would cause my back wheel to step out. By the time we reached the bottom, we had made a big group of about 40 riders. I tried to attack a few times but they wouldn’t let me go, so I sat in and saved my energy until the end of the race, at which point I attacked from my group in the last 500 metres and I finished in 73rd place. The group didn’t react to my attack as they weren’t bothered about position, they already had team riders up ahead, which should get them enough team points, but I needed to attack to try and get points for my team. It’s really important that my team gets points in these races, as we are a low budget team, and we are dependent upon results for future sponsorship and major race invitations. Ignacio finished 54th, 4 places away from a team point, but also we were 3 seconds behind the top 20 team classification to get a point! That was frustrating. If my team mate in the group would have followed me when I attacked at the finish, then we would have got a team classification point, but we can learn from mistakes and we’ll know what to do in the next races.

Team Lizarte locked the race down with pure team work in a dominant 1, 2 , 3 finish at the end of the day.

 

The next race on Sunday will be near Valencia. It’s another Copa Espana race, the Memorial Pascual Momparler in Villanueva de Castellon, but this time it’s a 179Km flat race with 4km of pave on every lap, with 9 laps of a 20Km circuit. I know that it’s my type of race, so I’m already confident to get in the top 50 for some points for the team.

 

Also, I would like to wish a speedy recovery to my local fellow cyclist back in England, Dave Henderson, who is a rider for the Penzance Wheelers Cycling Club in my home town. I was shocked when I heard that Dave was involved in a serious collision with a car yesterday. He was airlifted by the Cornwall Air Ambulance to Derriford Hospital and he’s very seriously injured, and fortunately he’s going to be okay, well of course he’s going to be okay, he’s the hardest rider I’ve ever met! Get well rested Captain Dave, and I’m wishing you a full and speedy recovery.

 

Results Sheet >>

Race Highlights on Spanish Television >>

List of Teams >>

 

 

Loading the team van before the drive

 

 

Antonio's place

 

 

Chilling at Antonio's place

 

 

Ready for training ride at Antonio's place

 

 

Breakfast at Antonio's place

 

 

Copa De Espana

 

 

Pizzeria Espanola team kit

 

 

Chilling at Antonios place

 

 

Race Poster

 

 

Race plan

 

 

Equipo Pizzeria Espanola

 

 

Post race food

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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