The Spaniard will represent the country’s future in cycling by taking part in the individual time trial with the national team in his first pro season, following an encouraging 8th spot in the U23 ITT of Geelong 2010
Only aged 21 -turned just under two months before the races-, Jesús Herrada will be one of the youngest riders to take part in the ITT course of the World Championships in Copenhagen on Wednesday. Despite his youth, it will be the fourth Worlds appearance for the Spaniard from Movistar Team, after his two rides as junior and last year’s within under 23 stage. After a notable neo-pro season with signs of quality that set him as one of the biggest promises in Spanish cycling, Herrada is now packing all stuff to travel to Danish lands on Monday.
For me it’s a big reward to the efforts done throughout the season. And also big joy, because I wasn’t expecting to be appointed by any means, so it was even more surprising. I talked to the national coach in the Vuelta a Burgos and I knew I was into the shortlist, but still I wasn’t expecting to go and was really happy when I knew of it. I have ridden three times at the Worlds, but this has nothing to do with my appearances up to date. The best riders in the world will be there, the distances are quite longer… we have to learn for the future in this race. It’s a big prize for a positive season, where I learnt and helped the squad, and also made the front in some races.
I would have liked to prepare the ITT 100%, more specifically. My appointment came too late, especially because I had the two races in Canada into my calendar and that conditioned all preparations. I couldn’t do any specific work with the TT bike and that counts a lot, but it also gives me more margin of progression for the next seasons. As a counterpoint, the Canadian races left me good racing pace and I proved I’m strong. I was into the day’s break and won the KOM classification in Québec, and made it with the top guns until the finale in Montréal. It’s also true that I always performed well in TT’s and get to a good adaptation into the tri-bars. I did all races during last season with the team bike and I had to use Luis León Sánchez’s bike for the Worlds, but I could still get 8th in the Worlds.
As I said before, I couldn’t prepare myself for it at 100% and thinking only of that race, as I would like to do in the future. But apart from that, as the coach already stated, by goal must be build up experience for the next seasons. Especially with the long course, because I only did two chronos of that kind before, at the Critérium du Dauphiné and the Spanish Championships. I’m not really afraid of that, but I’m conscious, because you have to get used to those distances. As well Castroviejo as myself will be two of the youngest in the field and I don’t know where we both will be standing at next year, but I’m sure we will improve our result in the Worlds in the future.
As far as I know by looking into the Internet, it’s a quite flat route, with 2 laps around a 23k course. Liking it? Maybe I would have preferred it to have some slope, but this route is for everyone and doesn’t do really bad for me. I always perfomed strong in ITT’s, even those so flat as this year’s. We’ll be travelling to Copenhagen on Monday morning, so we’ll analyze the route, the turns, the wind in the evening and on Tuesday. José Luis de Santos already followed me from the team in the U23 ITT Worlds and that always gives you confidence because you’re known to each other.
I wouldn’t call on just one, but two: Tony Martin and Fabian Cancellara. If the German is as strong as he was in the Vuelta, he’s the main favourite right now, but I can’t rule Cancellara out, because we know he turns into a completely different rider in the Worlds. Plus, there’s always some surprise in these races, a rider no one counts on. I don’t set any objectives on myself, but getting a top-20 spot would be satisfying me.
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS APPEARANCES
2010: U23 (8th ITT, 40th RR)
2008: junior (27th RR, 34th ITT)
2007: junior (77th RR)