GP Muniadona (Spanish Cup)
Basque rouleur leaves all rivals behind at Spanish Racing Series’ penultimate event, claims fourth success for Movistar Team -5th win for Blues in 2018- in five races.
The Movistar Team’s love story with the Spanish Racing Series continued on Sunday with yet another win at the 5th Gran Premio Muniadona, 100km in Villasana de Mena near Burgos. Following Eider Merino’s success in front of her home crowd in Balmaseda on Saturday, the Blues’ other Basque rider, young rouleur Lourdes Oyarbide, took success near home using her biggest strengths on a rolling course including only two major climbs to Elcarel.
Oyarbide was part of a decisive, seven-woman breakaway including Lucía González and Dani Christmas (BDM), Sara Martín (SWT), Teresa Ripoll (KCH), Paula Díaz (MER) and Ainara Elbusto (DCR). As the group built a solid, three-minute gap over the peloton, from which a counterattack including Lorena Llamas (6th) jumped across with no success, the race was to be played between them. The break stayed together until after the last Elcarel ascent, when Lourdes started to build her winning move. An initial attack left her only in company of Christmas and Martín, the two dropped back for good with another powerful acceleration with 8km to go, which she continued to the very finish to win solo.
Lourdes’ success is the fifth victory of the new women’s Movistar Team in 2018, with four of its ten members -Oyarbide, García, Rodríguez and Merino- claiming victories so far and almost completing a clean sweep of the Spanish Cup, four of its five events to date -only the local race for the Jorge Sanz-led group, the GP La Burundesa in Egüés (Navarra) on Saturday 26th May- having been notched up by the Blues.
REACTION / Lourdes Oyarbide:
“I’m quite happy – to be honest, that victory really was difficult to obtain. I got into an early break which we didn’t think would stick, and at the end, I crowned it with the victory. I tried to get away into the final climb, leave the others behind, but Christmas was able to follow my wheel and Sara Martín bridged back later on. With eight, nine kilometers to go we went through a small kick uphill and I told to myself: ‘It’s my time now’. I put some meters on the two and went on full TT mode until the finish.
“We’d have liked for the race to go in a different way. We wanted the decisive move to form later on so we could profit from our strongest climbers coming here to finish the race off. Lorena went into a counter-attack, and even if she couldn’t bridge back to us, it allowed me going a bit easier before the climbs so I had energy left to attack.
“The teamwork was again excellent today, so it’s the whole Movistar Team which we should dedicate this victory to. We’re really satisfied because we’ve claimed four victories out of five in the Spanish Cup – and all of them, with different riders. It’s being a beautiful season for us.”
Pictures (c): Elena Alcalde / Spanish Cycling Federation + Ainara Hernando