Spanish riders will get an opportunity to test their legs on the World Championship course ahead of the event in September.
Spanish Federation (RFEC) president José Luis López Cerrón and Ponferrada Mayor Samuel Folgueral announced yesterday that the Spanish National Road Race Championships would be held over the same course as the Worlds.
López Cerrón said that it will prove just as vital for the organisers as it will the riders. “It will be a test for Spanish riders ahead of their participation in the World , as well as to gauge the organizational details Ponferrada in a previous competition, such as road closures and other aspects," he explained.
The courses for all the events at the World Championships were announced last December. The 254.8km course that the men will tackle features only two small climbs, leading many to predict that a classics type sprinter will be the one to win.
Spain’s big hope is likely to be Alejandro Valverde, who has finished on the podium five times. Three-time world champion Oscar Freire rode the course after it was announced, saying that is was a course that would have suited him in his heyday.
The decision told hold the national championships here will no doubt attract a strong field. A good performance here could prove vital for selection for some riders. Spain sit fourth on the medal table in terms of total medal haul at the world championships, with 22. They finished with two riders on the podium last year, but haven’t taken gold since Freire in 2004.
It won’t just be the Spanish that could benefit, with other national selectors being able to see if their predictions are true and which riders come to the fore on this type of parcours.
The Spanish National Championships will take place between 26-29 June and Jesús Herrada (Movistar) will be the defending champion. The men's road race at the World Championships will be on 28 September.