Juanjo claims Movistar Team's 20th success of the 2016 as Jesús Herrada finishes in 2nd place; Blue duo in second and fourth behind Molano (POS) in Sunday's closing sprint in the streets of El Pilar borough
Awful weather -drizzling rain combined with hailstorm at times, which forced to shorten the race beforehand, taking the final circuit to just 70km (14 laps) or the 95km initially scheduled- did not stop Juanjo Lobato and Jesús Herrada (Movistar Team) claiming a magnificent one-two GC finish in the 29th Vuelta Ciclista a la Comunidad de Madrid. A victory in which their six team-mates were key to succeed.
Consistent, strong pacing from Ventoso, Soler, Arcas, Pedrero, Fernández and Gorka Izagirre always kept the day's original, nine-man break under control, as well as the late attempt by Diego Rubio (CJR). Colombian Juan Sebastián Molano (POS) eventually anticipated Juanjo (2nd) and Jesús (4th) into the uphill sprint in La Vaguada, even though both clinched their overall goal as they increased the victory tally of the Movistar Team to 20, bringing Lobato his first stagerace triumph as pro in the process.
Juanjo Lobato: "It's a victory I want to dedicate to my son, José -it's the first stagerace win of my career and I couldn't forget about him-, and especially the team, whose support today was incredible – just like yesterday. Still, cold and rain didn't allow us enjoying this success as much as we'd have liked to. Then again, the race was overall calm for us today: we always kept the breakaway under control -not too many riders in it, no threats for the GC- before picking up the pace with four or five laps to go, in order to avoid the attacks.
"That pace into the final lap by Gorka might have been the reason I didn't win: so anyone could search for an acceleration, he set a bit too much of a rhythm for me -maybe it was just the hard conditions, which left me a bit blocked-, and that made me not being able to follow Molano's wheel when he sprinted. All in all, I can't really blame him; actually, I'm all grateful for what he did yesterday. Ever since I joined the Movistar Team three years ago, I've always been contending GCs on not-to-hard races like Wallonie, Dubai, even La Sarthe this season… The prize came here in Madrid and I hope I can keep performing like that in the future."