XX Sanroma Memorial
Stage 2: Almagro-Almagro (145 km)
The competitive debut of the Kometa Cycling Team under 23 took place this weekend in a Memorial Manuel Sanroma dominated by Polish cycling, with double victories for Bartosz Rudyk (Polish National Team) both in the first and second stage. Two days of vibrant cycling in which the Madrid team showed its face, deployed strategies and fought for victory. Especially in the second, the most demanding for the ascent to Alto de Hortezuelas and all the complicated terrain behind it.
The Kometa Cycling Team was one of the teams that carried the weight to neutralize a numerous breakaway that had formed in the early stages of the second stage, reducing its advantage to just 50 seconds at the start of the climb and selecting the number of the main pack. The watchword was to harden the approach to Hortezuelas. Shortly after the banner of the great prize of the mountain would be hunted the last of its members by a group of 23 units where the Madrid formation was present.
Sergio García would be the first to open hostilities in the most demanding part of the stage, lighting the flame for the creation, at the height of kilometer 95 of the race, of a small group of six units where there were two other companions of the Kometa Cycling Team, Carlos García and Arturo Grávalos. Sergio, accompanied by ‘Caja Rural’ Carmelo Urbano, would persevere in his offensive, never more than 30 seconds ahead.
A series of movements in the persecuting group fed the gestation of a new leading group of five units. Garcia and Urbano were joined by Alejandro Ropero (Kometa Cycling Team), another ‘caja’ (Joel Nicolau) and Raul Rico (Mutua Levante). The five would get to ride with a minute and a half of advantage, but the work of Team Extremadura, the Cafés Baqué and Froiz ended up knocking it down in the last fifteen kilometers. Neither the non-scoring slope of El Reventón, where different offensives took place, prevented a group of about fifty units from playing the victory in Almagro, where Rudyk’s double took place. In the sprint, Alejandro Ropero finally signed the tenth place.
“Everything went just as we had planned, but lacked the golden brooch,” explains Sergio García, “The approach to the port was fast, protecting Carlos and Ropero. Once we crowned the port we gathered a small group. From that position, we were always trying, giving everything to make the good cut. We got to have more than a minute, but in the end the forces were already very fair and we were neutralized by a small platoon. The work of the entire Kometa Cycling Team has been spectacular”.
Alejandro Ropero, the best of the team’s riders at the finish: “The Sanroma Memorial was a very tough race, the first test to see what our level is and the rest of the rivals. We left happy. I see that the group we have this year can do very nice things and today we have a very high level. Personally, the two days of Almagro have been in the leakage. This Sunday, after trying again, I tried to get into the sprint with what I had left of energy and I could scratch a ninth place. The finish was a bit complicated. But all in all, we ended up happy”.
Rafa Díaz Justo, director of the Kometa Cycling Team U23: “The year is very long and it will be very hard, but the Sanroma Memorial leaves us with a very good feeling with the team. As a whole, in terms of block, is one of the strongest we have had within the Foundation in the U23 structure. In the first stage there was not much margin, with a route neither very long nor very hard nor hardly presence of wind. The level of the Polish national team was very high and it was difficult to make things difficult for them. This Sunday we did have more choice, moving people before the hardest zone. The approach to the port was not especially complicated, but we managed to harden. And after the port there were two race situations that generated a lot of nerves in the pack, especially the escape of five in which we took Sergio and Ropero”.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)