A puncture at a key moment leaves Javi Serrano without options to fight for the Clásica Premundial
38th Clásica Premundial / 38th Mundialaren Aurreko Klasikoa
Beasain-Beasain (114 km)
The year 2019 will be difficult to forget in the heart of the Kometa Cycling Team junior. A great season with many successes among which stand out the Spanish Cup, with victories in five of its six villages, several regional titles or the general Vuelta a Besaya, the Bizkaiko Itzulia, the Vuelta a la Ribera del Duero, the Vuelta a Cieza or the Tour de Gironde French. Although the aim was to achieve the gold medal in this Sunday’s Clasica Premundial, the race in Gipuzkoa was complicated by a high level escape and an inopportune puncture.
In an early escape of twelve runners found its foundations the movement of six cyclists who faced the final part of the race. Diego Uriarte (Lizarte), Álex Diaz (Bellota), Alejandro Piquero (Ciclos Ébora) and Ander Blázquez (Ulma) ended up standing out at the helm of the race in the first fortnight of kilometers. A quartet that, beyond several movements that were born behind, would roll with up to two minutes (maximum difference) on the main squad. Blázquez, who suffered in the ascent to Liernia, ended up giving up in Altzo.
It would be in the first ascent to Olaberria when Uriarte, Díaz and Piquero would join them, arriving from a first group of fifteen units that rolled just over a minute, both Xabier Isasa (Bellota) as Pablo Carrascosa (Ciclos Ébora) and the Uruguayan Guillermo Thomas Silva (Arte en Transfer). A minute and a half away, a platoon in which the Kometa Cycling Team set the pace to prevent the differences from shooting up. Both Raul Garcia and Fernando Tercero were very careful to avoid the formation of new cuts.
Within the last 25 kilometres, just over a minute from the head of the race, Javi Serrano moved. The Kometa Cycling Team rider from Madrid had been riding with a lot of power, approaching the six at the head of the race, which were running with more than half a minute at the height of kilometre 97. Serrano would catch them, but a very inopportune puncture ended all his options of reaching the head of the race. “I managed to get in front, but soon after I caught them piché. And it has been a pity, because I knew that this escape was going to end up gambling the victory”, says Serrano.
The six avant-garde, well avenues, consolidated the movement while behind there was a small stoppage. Victory was ahead. The Guipuzcoan Xabier Isasa, recent winner of the Vuelta a Pamplona, scored the victory after leaving in the ascent to Olaberria and crowned with a score of seconds over Pablo Carrascosa (Ebora Cycles) and the Uruguayan Guillermo Thomas Silva (Transfer Art). At the finish line, 24º to 4:43, the Catalan Gerard Bofill became the first cyclist of the Kometa Cycling Team to cross the finish line. Raúl García and Fernando Tercero finished 34th and 35th, at 4:48.
“The passes were hard on percentages, although short. And the whole day has gone very fast. Personally, I was happy with the sensations I had. The team did a good job. The pity is that it will be the last race of the year”, says Bofill. “It was a very fast and crazy race from the beginning, with a lot of escape attempts in which in the end we managed that Javi would get into a cut but finally he punctured and there was no time to react”, says Fernando Tercero.
“The team worked very well, the guys worked great. Raul and Fernando have been aware of all the cuts. We didn’t have a chance to win, but it couldn’t be. It’s a shame. Neither of the two neutral cars in front saw Javi punctured, and that was something that deprived us of being in front”, concludes Guillermo Gutiérrez, director of the Kometa Cycling Team.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)