95ª Prueba de Villafranca-Clásica de Ordizia
25 July: Ordizia-Ordizia (165.7 km)
After the brilliant participation in the Giro d’Aosta, where the team won the always prestigious general squad and the Dutchman Kevin Inkelaar caressed the final victory in the general classification, the Polartec-Kometa returns to the competition this Wednesday in a race of great historical importance as the Prueba de Villafranca-Clásica de Ordizia. A particularly attractive debut. The event in Gipuzkoa is one of the oldest races on the Spanish calendar and is firmly on its way to the century of life.
Miguel Ángel Ballesteros, Juan Camacho, Isaac Cantón, Awet Habtom, Kevin Inkelaar, Juan Pedro López and Diego Pablo Sevilla are the riders selected to compete in a Classic of Ordizia, which will be held over 165.7 kilometres in which the Alto de Abaltzisketa (3km to 7.8%) will have to be passed five times, the last two within a circuit where the Alto de Altzo (2.5 km to 6%) must also be passed.
As in previous editions, the `worldtour’ Mitchelton-Scott and Movistar are leading a participative list that includes several professional continental teams such as the Delko-Marseille, the Israel Cycling Team, the Burgos-BH, the Caja Rural-Seguros RG or the Euskadi-Murias. Australia’s Simon Yates, winner in 2016, starts as the main favourite. “I don’t know her in the first person, but from what I’ve heard and see in the profile it will be a very tough race that will become quite demanding. It’s a race where climbers usually do well,” says Juan Camacho.
“I feel fine, getting better from Aosta. I ended up tired and pretty upset. Now I am very happy with the results and with everything we did on the team. I’m very grateful to the kids, to the whole team. We gave our all and showed our teeth every day. I am also really very grateful to the coaches Andrea Morelli and Matteo Azzolini. I owe them a lot. I’ve been made to believe and trust myself more than many times myself,” says Kevin Inkelaar.
The Ordiziako Klasika 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 pro race, the Basque one, which has been organised without interruption since 1938. Although the route has remained more or less stable for the last ten years, around 165 kilometres, in past decades it has been disputed over 215 or even, as in 1963, 225 kilometres.
Ricardo Montero, with five (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).
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)