European Games (road race)
4th place for Spanish rider from Movistar Team after exhibition of class and comradeship, with lots of attacks through a 200-km breakaway he crowned by leading Luis León Sánchez out into gold
It was the happiest of endings for the Spanish national team's participation in the first-ever European Games in Baku, as the Pascual Momparler-led group claimed gold in the road race (220km) with Luis León Sánchez after an unpayable work by Jesús Herrada.
The Mota del Cuervo-based rider from the Movistar Team made it into an early breakaway of 19 riders, which got reduced into several attacks until there were only eight ahead with one third of the race left to go. The ever-so-tired glance of Herrada, who coordinated the turns in the pursuit of Vitaly Buts (UKR) with three laps to go, contrasted with his great response into the final kilometers, always taking efforts and even attacking when, already into the last lap, he attacked alongside Paterski (POL) and Kochetkov (RUS).
The attack by 'Luisle' on the final ascent created the decisive move, with both Spaniards together with Vakoc (CZE) and Grivko (UKR). Jesús's exhilarating effort, against a bunch pulled by Italy into the final 5k, eventually led the Murcian out into the win, with Herrada celebrating behind in fourth place. Sánchez's hug to his team-mate was the crown to a heroic performance by Herrada, already 9th into Thursday's ITT.