The Spanish cycling federation (RFEC) has decided not to send an elite men's squad to compete at the 2019 European Road Championships in Alkmaar, in the Netherlands, this month, citing clashes with other major races, including the Tour of Portugal, the Tour of Poland and the BinckBank Tour, according to reports in the Spanish press.
Spanish website Ciclo21.com points out that former national coach Javier Minguez had also struggled with a team selection for last year's championships in Glasgow, Scotland, but that Spain nevertheless came away with a silver medal for Jonathan Castroviejo in the men's time trial and fourth place for Jesus Herrada in the men's road race.
CyclingPro.net, meanwhile, suggests that this year's decision could be a move to put pressure on the European Cycling Union (UEC) to find a new, less-congested slot on the calendar for the events – although the championships are already slated to take place in Trento, Italy, in mid-September in 2020.
The website says that new national coach Pascual Momparler has pointed to problematic clashes with the Tour of Portugal (July 31-August 11), the Tour of Poland (August 3-9) and the BinckBank Tour ( August 12-18), with the latter coming immediately after the European Championships, which take place from August 7-11. The Vuelta a Espana, meanwhile – the third and final Grand Tour on the cycling calendar – starts on August 24, and is a serious goal for a number of Spanish professional teams, with many riders already training specifically for the three-week race.
The Spanish federation also chose not to send a men's squad to the European Games in Minsk, Belarus, in June, or to the men's Olympic test event in Tokyo, Japan, last month. The UEC start list for the upcoming championships does, however, list Spanish representatives for the elite women's, under-23 men's, and junior men's and women's road races and time trials.