86th Clásica de Santacruz / Santikutz Klasika
Legazpi-Legazpi (147 km)
The Spanish Cup elite and U23 faces its final straight. After its frenetic succession of trials in March and April, after the traditional halt of the Easter, comes the hour of the penultimate stop of the tournament, a classic among the classics, invariably disputed on May 1 since its birth in 1929, and always present in the calendar of the Cup since its inception. In short, the Santikutz Klasika from the town of Legazpi in Gipuzkoa arrives, which a few days later is taken over by the Macario de Alcalá de Henares Grand Prix.
The Kometa Cycling Team is looking for a victory in the always demanding test in Gipuzkoa that is never easy to achieve, a success that would allow them to wipe out the misfortunes of some previous races and reward the great work done on the road throughout this campaign. Alejandro Ropero, Carlos García, the Colombian Jhon Stiven Ramírez, Alejandro Regueiro, Joan Martí Bennassar, Arturo Grávalos and Yago Segovia make up the call devised by Rafa Díaz Justo.
Ropero goes to Basque lands settled in the sixth place of the general square of a Cup directed by the Lizarte team, more still by the recent jump of the ‘cajarrural’ Joel Nicolau, third in the contest, to the professional structure of the Navarrese team. With 319 points, the Granadino has the final podium within his reach. “Nicolau’s step has left this option more open and of course I am very excited to fight for the podium. I would be very excited to be in that final draw. It’s not going to be easy, because you have to score and other riders also have that option, and Nicolau himself has left a good income of points. But we’re going to fight it out, we’re going to work very hard and we’re confident that luck will be with us”, said Otura’s rider.
Ropero travels to Legazpi with one eye on the Cup and another already placed in the second part of the season. “After competing in Flanders I had a couple of rest days and another couple of lighter training sessions before returning to the charge to prepare for the second part of the season and the series of stage laps to come. These have been days of a lot of work, a lot of stone breaking. The laps have always been good for me and I’m confident that we can do a very good second part of the season in the team.
In the Basque Country, after several absence tests, although adding kilometres in some competitions of the Basque calendar and working very hard in the studies, the Asturian Yago Segovia returns to the team: “There is no lack of desire to compete. The sensations in the training sessions are very good, so I hope to do very well in Santikutz. Before Easter I competed in the Spring Grand Prix of Amorebieta under23, where I finished tenth. And then, with the competitive halt of those days, we took the opportunity to get ready for the second part of the season. The University is doing very well, although I want to finish this year to be able to focus fully on the bicycle”.
Santikutz Klasika maintains the main lines of it route: a demanding 147-kilometre course that includes eight high scores for the mountain Grand Prix, a chained track (seven climbs are in a circuit to which the riders will complete two laps) that will bring a lot of wear and tear; the climb to Deskarga, the last of all, has its peak less than five kilometres to the end and will be fundamental again: from Bergara are almost 6.5 kilometers of ascent with an average slope of 5% and a deceptive final part: 2.5 kilometers where the hardness is concentrated, average percentage higher than 7.5% and many ramps above 10%.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)