There are special races, organizational free spirits beyond the WorldTour and its focus. Prestigious, old, traditional dates, with thousands of stories and millions of pedals as background. One of these events is the Villafranca event, perhaps more popularly known as the Classic of Ordizia, which has been held for almost a century in this town in the Goierri region of Gipuzkoa. Faithful to its festive dates in the town, the 95th edition will be held on July 25th. The first year of its existence in the peloton will see the presence of the continental Polartec-Kometa.
José Luis Sanz, visible head of the organization of the Ordiziako Klasica, the A. D. Txapel Gorri, made official this Wednesday the presence of the Madrid team among the fourteen teams that will take part this year, a list that will include two WorldTour teams (Mitchelton-Scott, Movistar), with the professional continentals Caja-Rural-Seguros RGA, Euskadi-Murias, Burgos-BH, Delko-Marseille, Israel Cycling Academy and with the continentals Team Ukyo, Fundación Euskadi, Massi-Kuwait, Interpro Stradilli Cycling, Dare Gaviota and Inteja Dominican Cycling.
The Villafranca-Ordiziako Klasica race, such is its official name, is not just any race. Created in 1922, it is the oldest day competition on the Spanish calendar. Only the Spanish Championships, which date back to the end of the 19th century, and the Volta a Catalunya, organised for the first time in 1911, are even more veteran than a race, the Basque one, which has been organised without interruption since 1938. Although its course has remained more or less stable for the last ten years, around 165 kilometres, in past decades it has been disputed over 215 kilometres. In 1963 the longest edition took place, with 225 kilometers.
Ricardo Montero, with five entorchados (1927, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1935) is the cyclist with the most titles from a list of winners, followed by four, the Australian Neil Stephens (1991, 1993, 1994, 1995); and, with three, Txomin Perurena (1971, 1972, 1976), Marino Lejarreta (1981, 1988, 1989), and Gorka Izagirre (2010, 2012, 2014). In 2016 the current leader of the Giro d’Italia, the Australian Simon Yates, won the race.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)