Spanish TT Championship
Telephone squad astonishes the crowd Against tremendous heat in Cáceres, as they repeat their 1-2-3 from 2014 with Castroviejo -second career title-, Gorka Izagirre -silver- and Jesús Herrada -bronze-
Impossible to repeat last year's result in the mountains of the Bierzo, as only four riders took part in Cáceres against six in Ponferrada's Worlds route, the Movistar Team still showed their dominance in the Spanish fight against the clock as they took all three medals in the National TT Championships, held over 45.6km in Extremadura. Jonathan Castroviejo repeated his brilliant role from 2013 in Bembibre as he took gold in front of Luis León Sánchez (AST), beating him clearly into the second part of the parcours after only twelve seconds separated them following the opening 22km.
Behind the two, under terrible heat which quickly took all riders' water supply away, a fight initially going for bronze between Jesús Herrada and Gorka Izagirre started in favour of the younger -Herrada 3" ahead at the intermediate point-, but a fantastic finish from the Basque awarded him silver as Sánchez collapsed, with Herrada claiming bronze while Imanol Erviti finished in 9th spot. This 1-2-3 also means three Movistar Team riders will wear national TT champion jerseys for the next twelve months, the telephone squad taking its victory tally up to 2016 so far in 2015.
REACTION / Jonathan Castroviejo: "An easy win? Well, you better don't say so… (laughs). Just like two years ago, the biggest goal of the season for me is the Tour de France, and the Spanish Championships, just one week earlier, force you to profit from your good fitness. I was doing well – you might lack a bit of competition after a stop following the Dauphiné. I started it off really fast and soon I could get sight of Luisle, but I completely lost all my pace halfway through the race; even, I though of withdrawing after 15km, I had no energy, probably because of the heat. Fortunately, my body more or less responded again, I got back to good feelings minute by minute and I also realized that my rivals weren't doing well either.
"Once I caught Luisle, I knew I only had to keep the pace, without losing pace, until the very end. It was a horrible day: I septn almost the whole TT without any water, and at the bus, due to an elasticity problem, the heat and the posture over the TT bike, my shoulder came off – luckily, I could get it back on. The Sunday race? We're a strong team, with Valverde, Ventoso and Rojas suited well for such a finish, and we might probably work for them, but we'll see how the race goes. Obviously, after taking this jersey, you only think about wearing it at the Tour: it's probably the year I head into it in best condition. I felt really well at the Dauphiné, not having trained much, and I didn't either afterwards, so I should be fresh coming into it. Should health and injuries respect me, I hope to do really well."