Road Race - Men: Úbeda - Baeza
After settling for silver and bronze medals in the past, Luis León Sánchez (Astana) claimed his first national road race title on Sunday with a thrilling victory at the Spanish Championships.
"I am so happy to win the title of the national champion in the road race. After many attempts and podium places, finally, I did it!" Sánchez said. "It is a great feeling to become the National Champion and I will be proud and happy to wear the jersey of the Spanish Champion during the next year all around the world."
The 36-year-old, who was runner-up last year and third in 2013, clinched the medal and jersey after tracking down Jesús Herrada (Cofidis) in the last few kilometres and passing him 400 metres from the line.
Herrada then suffered a mechanical on the technical cobbled run-in, which, although the gold medal appeared to have disappeared, took away a podium finish. The two-time champion suffered the ignominy of having to walk to the line while several others rolled past him, with Gorka Izagirre making it a 1-2 for Astana, and Vicente García de Mateos (Aviludo-Louletano) claiming the final podium spot.
As Sánchez burst into tears beyond the line, Herrada looked shell-shocked as he walked across the line then hunched over his bike in disbelief. He looked to be well on his way to a third title when he launched a stinging attack on the fifth and final climb of Mazuecos, the centrepiece of the 25-kilometre circuit that made up much of the 185km route.
The race had been reduced to 30 riders by the bottom of the 8km climb and after a spate of attacks, including fellow Cofidis rider Fernando Barceló, Herrada soared clear with 4km to go. It looked to be the winning move but Sánchez was able to lean on teammate Izagirre before setting off in pursuit at the top of the climb with 2.5km to go.
Despite Herrada's impressive attack, the tables turned on the run-in, as Sánchez, grinding a huge gear, stalked his prey, who was frantically pedalling at a much higher cadence amid worried looks back.
Sánchez made the catch inside the final kilometre before accelerating away inside 500m to create a little daylight for the last twisting, cobbled corners. He then sprang up to sprint for the line, as Herrada looked down at his gears and realised they were jammed. It probably didn't affect the destination of the gold medal, as Sánchez's power in the finale appeared decisive, but it did cost him a medal, and even a place in the top 10.
"It was a very hard race, difficult to control with a lot of attacks. I was staying in the group, waiting and waiting for the best moment," Sánchez said. "When Jesus Herrada went away, I decided to follow him. Once I caught him, I waited until some 500-600 meters to go and gave my all to the finish line."
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Luis León Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team||4:24:20|
|2||Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana Pro Team||0:00:15|
|3||Vicente Garcia de Mateos Rubio (Spa) Aviludo-Louletano|
|4||Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Bahrain McLaren||0:00:22|
|5||Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi|
|6||Fernando Barcelo Aragon (Spa) Cofidis||0:00:24|
|7||Urko Berrade Fernandez (Spa) Kern Pharma|
|8||Diego Rubio Hernandez (Spa) Burgos-BH||0:00:27|
|9||Samuel Blanco (Spa) Supermarcado Froiz||0:00:32|
|10||Gustavo Cesar Veloso (Spa) W52-FC Porto||0:00:39|
|11||Roger Adria Oliveras (Spa) Kern Pharma||0:00:48|
|12||Jonathan Lastra Martinez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA||0:00:55|
|13||Oscar Sevilla (Spa) Team Medellin|
|14||Ander Okamika (Spa)||0:00:58|
|15||Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis||0:01:00|
|16||Sergio Samitier Samitier (Spa) Movistar Team|
|17||Gonzalo Serrano Rodriguez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA||0:01:15|
|18||Miguel Ballesteros (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA||0:01:18|
|19||Jose Manuel Diaz Gallego (Spa) Nippo Delko Provence|
|20||Alberto Gallego (Spa) Radio Popular-Boavista||0:01:21|
|21||David Valero (Spa) MMR Factory Racing Team||0:01:24|
|22||Gotzon Martin Sanz (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi|
|23||Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Israel Start-up Nation|
|24||Angel Sanchez (Spa) Miranda - Mortagua||0:01:43|
|25||Juan Lopez-Cozar (Spa) Manuela Fundacion||0:01:53|
|26||Antonio Angulo Sampedro (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi||0:02:19|
|27||Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis||0:02:21|
|28||Jaime Castrillo (Spa) Kern Pharma|
|29||Victor Etxeberria (Spa) Vigo-rias Baixas|
|30||Cristian Rodriguez Martin (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA||0:02:26|
|31||Joan bou Company (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi||0:02:42|
|32||Carlos Gutierrez (Spa) Aluminios Cortizo||0:02:58|
|33||Marcos Garcia Fernandez (Spa) Kinan||0:03:41|
|34||Carlos Rodriguez Cano (Spa) Team Ineos||0:04:10|
|35||Oscar Cabedo Carda (Spa) Burgos-BH||0:04:43|
|36||Joel Nicolau Beltran (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA||0:05:11|
|37||Sergio Martin (Spa) Caja Rural-seguros RGA|
|38||Jose Herrada (Spa) Cofidis||0:06:23|
|39||Alejandro Ropero Molina (Spa) Kometa Xstra|
|40||Oscar Pelegri Ferrandis (Spa) Feirense||0:06:59|
|41||Francisco Mancebo Perez (Spa) Matrix Powertag||0:07:25|
|42||Thomas James Armstrong (Spa) Telco.m - on Clima - Oses||0:09:33|
|43||Javier Hernandez (Spa) Gomur - Cantabria Infinita||0:09:39|
|44||Jose m. Gutierrez (Spa) Gios - Kiwi Atlantico||0:09:42|
|45||Gabriel Reguero Corral (Spa) Bahrain Cycling Academy|
|46||Jesus Ezquerra Muela (Spa) Burgos-BH||0:10:10|
|47||Jorge Arcas (Spa) Movistar Team||0:10:12|
|48||Kevin Suarez (Spa) Nesta - Skoda Alecar CX Team|
|49||Ivan Moreno (Spa) Kern Pharma|
|50||Antonio Gomez (Spa) Manuela Fundacion||0:10:12|
|51||Raul Garcia (Spa) Aluminios Cortizo||0:10:30|
|52||Abel Alonso (Spa) Ciudad de Oviedo Tartiere||0:11:16|
|53||Mikel Iturria Segurola (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi||0:11:30|
|54||Francisco Rus (Spa) Aluminios Cortizo||0:12:31|
|55||Oscar Rodriguez Garaicoechea (Spa) Astana Pro Team||0:12:32|
|56||Sebastian Mora Vedri (Spa) Movistar Team|
|57||Ibon Ruiz (Spa) Kern Pharma|
|58||Antonio Canovas (Spa) Brocoli Mecanico-Sakata C.||0:12:34|
|59||Miguel a. Silva (Spa) Gsport Team|
|60||Julen Amezqueta Moreno (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA|
|61||Aritz Bagües (Spa) Caja Rural-seguros RGA||0:12:39|
|62||Ivan Martinez (Spa) Supermercados Froiz||0:12:58|
|63||Mikel Bizkarra Etxegibel (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi|
|64||Txomin Juaristi Arrieta (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi|
|65||Daniel de la Fe (Spa) Tenerife Bike Point Pizzeria||0:13:27|
|66||Jorge Bueno (Spa) Telco.m - on Clima - Oses||0:13:28|
|67||Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Burgos-BH||0:13:35|
|68||Eric Valiente Bonafe (Spa) Bahrain Cycling Academy||0:13:55|
|69||Noel Martin (Spa) Vigo-rias Baixas|
|70||David Gomez (Spa) Antiga Casa Bellsola-girona|
|71||Angel Fuentes Paniego (Spa) Burgos-BH|
|72||Pablo Guerrero (Spa) Burgos BH||0:15:10|
|73||Carlos Canal Blanco (Spa) Burgos-BH||0:14:50|
|74||Isaac Canton Serrano (Spa) Burgos-BH||0:15:47|
|75||Javier Gil (Spa) Netllar Telecom-ale|
|76||Gonzalo Fuentes (Spa) Netllar Telecom-ale||0:17:08|
|77||Felipe Orts (Spa) Gsport Team||0:17:12|
|78||Mauro Rato (Spa) Ciudad de Oviedo Tartiere Aut|
|79||Jon Irisarri Ricon (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA||0:17:31|
|80||Hector and Carretero (Spa) Movistar Team||0:19:33|
|81||Jesus del Pino Corrochano (Spa) Aviludo-louletano|
|OTL||Pablo Alonso (Spa) Gomur - Cantabria Infinita||0:21:37|
|OTL||Jon Agirre (Spa) Kern Pharma||0:22:38|
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