III Memorial Xavi Tondo
Valls-Valls (172 km)
The Spanish Cup elite and U23 is heading for its penultimate race, the Memorial Xavi Tondo from Tarragona, and although there are still no winners of the tournament mathematically, it is no less true that Antonio Soto (Lizarte) from Murcia caresses the elite title as well as that Jesús Arozamena (Aldro) from Valladolid is well on track for success in the U23 category.
But in a hypothetical podium, third, emerges the Sevillian Polartec-Kometa Juan Pedro Lopez. The Andalusian does not have that third place assured, far from it. Even the goal is not to defend it. Polartec-Kometa U23 will be coming to Valls with the aim of winning the race and keeping alive the fight for the general classification at least in the U23 category. Sergio García, José Antonio García, the aforementioned Juanpe López, Joan Martí Bennassar, Alejandro Ropero, Hugo Sampedro and the Portuguese Daniel Viegas make up the team that will compete this Sunday in Catalonia.
The Xavi Tondo Memorial offers a 172-kilometre route that will take on Coll de Bellltal and Coll de Lilla twice, the latter for the last time 10.5 kilometres from the end. Four orographical difficulties for the Grand Prix of the mountain that do not pose the difficulty and the appreciable demand in other appointments. But we are in the eighth round of the Cup, seventh if we consider the heartfelt cancellation of the Valencian Memorial for non-sporting reasons, and tactical-sporting issues emerge. “The Cup, we were able to see it the other day at the Santa Cruz Classic and it happened last year, is strategically blocked in the sense that the leader’s team can tolerate numerous breaks that allow him to give up many points in the fight for the overall Cup”, says director Rafa Díaz Justo.
“This permissiveness causes two races to take place: the victory race itself and the one that looks towards the general classification. In the Polartec-Kometa we are going for both in the two races that remain and we want to be a nuisance to those who compete in both. It’s not an easy claim, because we have to put people ahead of us who might be uncomfortable. But we have two riders in the top seven [Juanpe López; José Antonio García] and we have the ability to play. Let’s give it a try. And we’re going to look to subtract points from the leaders, especially at the U23 level, because it’s the most affordable one in the tremendous difficulty it poses. Soto has it easier, much closer, and only circumstances we don’t want, such as falls or breakdowns, could bring new things in the elite category”, he concludes.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)