Cantabrian becomes Spanish road champion in Salamanca, completes huge teamwork by Movistar as they reach the Tour with 22 victories, one more than in 2011
With the responsibility of being clear favourites for the title, Movistar Team was yet able to complete their domination in the 2012 Spanish road Championships. The telephone squad was the biggest protagonist of the 200-kilometer, scorching hot route in Salamanca as Fran Ventoso took the honours and claimed right to wear the same red-yellow-red jersey notched up by team-mate José Joaquín Rojas the previous year. The Cantabrian raised his arms again in a talisman city for him, Ventoso taking the bronze medal in the u23 RR champs in 2002 and victories in the Vuelta a Castilla y León in 2007 and 2011.
The race was an ‘all against Movistar Team’, the Blues defending themselves by breaking the race into pieces in the hardest climb of the route, just before halfway through the course, and left ahead a group of 25 riders including eight Blue representatives. The latter regrouping left room for a carousel of attacks in the second half of the route -always with several Movistar Team riders at the fore- before the lads directed by José Luis Jaimerena took charge of the group with 20k from the finish. Up to ten Blue riders commanded the small bunch before a turn with less than 2k remaining was about to change the curse of the race. An accident by Guardiola (TKT) and Iván Gutiérrez –fortunately, with no consequences for the Cantabrian- left Mancebo (RCC), Pacheco (TKT) and Ventoso at the front, with Mancebo’s impuse taking him with a short margin in the lead at the finish line, where Ventoso took his full speed to fruition against a charging peloton. Fran’s tirumph is the 22nd of the season for Movistar Team, one more than an already brilliant 2011, and becomes the fifth success by Eusebio Unzué’s group in the last seven editions.