Like a mantra, but not without being a reality, it is repeated every day that these are not easy days we are living because of the coronavirus. Nothing easy for the whole society. And as part of it, being one more manifestation of its reality, neither for sport and therefore for cycling. Many people suffer from the disease. Many lives have been lost and not a few are struggling intensely to survive with medical services overturned to the point of exhaustion in order to stop the pandemic. These are times when it is not easy to smile or to appeal to optimism. Arturo Grávalos from La Rioja, a happy young man with a smiling face and a contagious expression of happiness, appeals both to see the good side and to the imminence of better times.
And he has to. His dream of becoming a professional cyclist was jeopardized in the middle of last year by a traffic accident. He was travelling in a vehicle, in its rear, and after an accident he suffered multiple years in his left hand. A few weeks earlier he had won silver at the Spanish Championships in Murcia, a runner-up spot that had put him on the front line. Some later complications brought some uncertainty about a full recovery. Arturo never doubted: “After an operation of almost six hours and after four months in a standstill I am one hundred percent recovered. We know that a positive attitude is very important. A positive attitude helps the body to react better and recover faster,” he says.
In 2020 Grávalos has been able to ride again and even show off. He made his debut at the Memorial Chineta Memorial and was also at the Memorial Sanroma. And of course he also did it in the first round of the Spanish Cup, at the Circuito del Guadiana, showing a lot of initiative and even breaking away, which relieved his colleagues at the Kometa-Xstra of a lot of work in moments of race with a lot of tension. Grávalos was also called for the Aiztondo Klasika. “Carlos Barredo and Rafa Díaz Justo have been very attentive to me, we have worked a lot and I have been able to get a good form very quickly. Carlos and Rafa have helped me a lot”.
How is Arturo Grávalos handling these days of confinement, without races and without the possibility of going out to train abroad? How are you living them? “I’m doing well. I think you have to take advantage of this situation to do things that you can’t do when you compete and train at 100%, things that you come out stronger with. Not going out has a lot of influence on training, it’s true, but at home I have a roller and that helps, and a lot, not to lose shape quickly. And I also have a small gym equipped with everything I need to stay in shape”.
About the good start of the season that the Kometa-Xstra u23 had in the competitions, with four victories and very good results in the Spanish Cup, Grávalos says: “Last year, in the first season in the team, I think we already got very good results. But this year we have taken a step forward as a block, without a doubt, we are much better. That improvement is something you can see year after year”.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)