Herrada wins Spanish road race championship

Movistar rider triumphs over Izagirre and LL Sanchez

The young gun of Movistar Team Jesús Herrada won today the Spanish road race championships, defeating Jon Izagirre (Euskaltel) by attacking him with one kilometer to go. Both Herrada and Izagirre were part of a group of six that broke away in the final part of the race, and managed to stay away although the peloton chased hard. Bronze medal was earned by Luis León Sánchez (Blanco), who was the fastest in the reduced bunch sprint.

The triumph of Herrada extends Movistar's winning streak at Spanish road race championships, with four victories in the last four editions of the event. That dominance was portrayed in the unfolding of today's race, held in a hilly route around Bembibre.

16 out of the 90 riders who took the start were part of the blue squad. That prominent majority and a proactive approach meant Movistar was the uncontested overlord, deciding which move was given a go and which one not.

"We had a strong majority in the decisive point of the race and we took advantage of it," Herrada said. "If they told me yesterday I would be winning today, I wouldn't believe them, but I can't believe it now either!.

"This gives me confidence for the future, because 2012 wasn't a good season for me - despite the win in Asturias, it turned out badly for me, and I didn't kick off this season well either - the April classics were hard for me and I couldn't bounce back until the Tour de Suisse. It's hard to know which kind of a rider am I, but I do well in one-week stageraces, especially those ones with a TT, and also in hard one-day races. We'll see how I evolve in the future."

The squad from Navarra chased an early breakaway of five after it had built a noticeable 2'30" gap, to later allow a move which featured its rider Imanol Erviti (Movistar), along with Mikel Astarloza (Euskaltel), Javier Aramendia (Caja Rural), Darío Hernández (Burgos BH) and Igor Merino (Euskadi). Fran Ventoso (Movistar) added himself later to the mix, jumping from the peloton to bridge to the group despite the five minutes advantage it had in a demonstration of strength.

With two Movistar riders on the front, Euskaltel had to assume the responsibility of taking down the breakaway, which after some attacks was reduced only to Erviti and Astarloza. At this point, thinking Erviti might lose to Astarloza one-on-one, Movistar chased hard and sent Jesús Herrada up the road; and chaos developed to unification.

With 20 kilometers and two climbs to go, the race started from scratch with a reduced bunch of 50 riders, with 7 Movistar and 8 Euskaltel. Despite having lost its majority, Movistar kept controlling. Two of its riders, Ángel Madrazo and Jesús Herrada, went away with Ion Izagirre (Euskaltel), David Arroyo (Caja Rural), Mikel Iturria (Euskadi) and Tino Zaballa (Christina Watches).

In the last climb, with five kilometers to go, Herrada and Izagirre went clear and managed to not be chased by a disorganized peloton. Under the banner of one kilometer to go, fearing Izagirre's power in the sprint, 22-year-old Herrada launched the attack which allowed him to win the title comfortably. Winning the sprint of the bunch had the bronze medal as prize, and it was Luis León Sánchez who achieved it, collecting his second badge of the week after the silver one he obtained in Friday's time trial.

"When Erviti and Astarloza went away, we decided to chase on full steam and play our cards in the finale by making things as hard as possible into the climbs," Herrada said. "I attacked with Madrazo in one of those, and at the final slope, with 3k to go, I moved again with Izagirre. We cooperated well until the last kilometer when I attacked - I knew it was hard to beat him into a sprint - and it went well."

The main race of the Spanish National Championships, as the whole event, was overshadowed by the tragedy of Rufino Murguía. Euskaltel's masseur had a traffic accident on Thursday, while driving the team's bus to Bembibre. He was hospitalized for three days and finally passed away tonight. Both Herrada and Izagirre dedicated their achievements to Murguía's memory, while the Basque rider admitted this have been "very, very tough days" in the Euskaltel camp.

Full Results

# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Jesús Herrada (Spa) Movistar Team 5:27:16  
2 Jon Izagirre (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:00:02  
3 Luis León Sánchez (Spa) Blanco Pro Cycling Team 0:00:05  
4 José Joaquín Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team    
5 Eduard Prades (Spa) OFM-Quinta Da Lixa    
6 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team    
7 Carlos Barbero (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
8 Arkaitz Durán (Spa) Efapel Glassdrive    
9 Rubén Pérez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
10 Peio Bilbao (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
11 Francisco Javier Moreno (Spa) Caja Rural Rga    
12 Luis Ángel Maté (Spa) Cofidis    
13 Aritz Bagues (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
14 Delio Fernández (Spa) OFM-Quinta Da Lixa    
15 Alejandro Marque (Spa) OFM-Quinta Da Lixa    
16 Egoitz García (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
17 Rubén Plaza (Spa) Movistar Team    
18 Amets Txurruka (Spa) Caja Rural Rga    
19 Constantino Zaballa (Spa) Christina Watches    
20 Marcos García (Spa) Caja Rural Rga    
21 Sergio Pardilla (Spa) MTN-Qhubeka    
22 Moisés Dueñas (Spa) Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon    
23 Haritz Orbe (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
24 Víctor De La Parte (Spa) Sp Tableware    
25 Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
26 Iván Velasco (Spa) Caja Rural Rga    
27 Carlos Verona (Spa) Omega Pharma Q. Step    
28 Igor Antón (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
29 Ángel Madrazo (Spa) Movistar Team    
30 Mikel Nieve (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
31 Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar Team    
32 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) 5 Hour Energy p/b Kenda    
33 Juan José Oroz (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
34 Omar Fraile (Spa) Caja Rural Rga    
35 Mikel Astarloza (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
36 David Arroyo (Spa) Caja Rural Rga    
37 Mikel Bizkarra (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
38 Antonio Piedra (Spa) Caja Rural Rga    
39 Óscar Pujol (Spa) Polygon Sweet Nice    
40 Mikel Iturria (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:00:13  
41 José Herrada (Spa) Movistar Team    
42 Salvador Guardiola (Spa) Differdange Losch 0:01:00  
43 Sergio Carrasco (Spa) Tusnad Cycling Team    
44 Jesús Del Pino (Spa) Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon    
45 Adrián López (Spa) Radio Popular Onda    
46 Ramón Domené (Spa) Caja Rural Rga    
47 David Belda (Spa) Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon    
48 Jesús Ezquerra (Spa) Leopard Trek Cont.    
49 Koldo Fernandez (Spa) Garmin-Sharp 0:02:57  
50 Javier Ramírez (Spa) Radio Popular Onda 0:04:29  
51 Daniel Domínguez (Spa) Doltcini-Flanders    
52 Jon Larrinaga (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
53 Pablo Lastras (Spa) Movistar Team    
54 Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar Team 0:07:10  
55 David De La Fuente (Spa) Torku Sekersport 0:10:24  
56 Joaquín Sobrino (Spa) Sp Tableware    
57 Fco.Javier Aramendia (Spa) Caja Rural Rga    
58 Juan José Lobato (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
59 Pablo Torres (Spa) Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon    
60 David Gutiérrez (Spa) Radio Popular Onda    
61 José Vicente Toribio (Spa) Team UK Youth 0:13:05  
62 Adrián Palomares (Spa) De Rijke Shanks    
63 Efrén Carazo (Spa) Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon    
64 Unai Iparragirre (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:16:48  
65 Pablo Urtasun (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
66 Román Osuna (Spa) Etcetera World    
67 Adrián Sáez De Arregi (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
68 Igor Merino (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
69 Illart Zuazubiskar (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
70 Eloy Teruel (Spa) Movistar Team    
71 Darío Hernández (Spa) Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon    


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