66th Spring Grand Prix Cyclist
Ontur-Ontur (156 km)
The Spanish Cup is speeding up. After the Aiztondo Klasikoa this week two new events are held to score for the tournament which will surpass the equator of it. On Sunday, in the Comunitat Valenciana, a new edition of the Memorial Pascual Momparler will be held. But before that, this Thursday, in its surprising premiere as a qualifying event for the Cup, takes place one of the most traditional events of the state cycling scene: the Gran Premio Primavera (Spring Grand Prix) of Ontur.
This race, promoted by the Onturense Cycling Club, has been in existence for more than half a century. “He has many of the great names of Spanish cycling”, says Rafa Díaz Justo, director of the Kometa Cycling Team and who finished third in his time as an amateur rider back in 1992. A world champion like Alejandro Valverde raised his arms in Ontur (2001), one of many future professionals who have passed through the routes of La Mancha. This is more than enough reason to justify the presence of this race within the Spanish Cup. An absolutely deserved presence. This race is an authentic national sporting heritage.
The Alberto Contador Foundation has had the good fortune to reap good results in this race: Diego Pablo Sevilla from Madrid won the colours of the then Specialized-Fundación Contador in 2015 (with a third place for his then team-mate David Casillas) and Juan Camacho (Polartec-Specialized) from La Mancha finished third in 2017. Looking back a year, Portuguese Daniel Viegas finished fourth in the last edition. Sevilla, Camacho and Viegas are now members of the continental Kometa Cycling Team.
Ontur’s race is not as easy as it might seem on profile. The presence of the wind is usual, the peaks of La Muela and La Galera, just over 20 kilometres from the finish line, harden the track and the prestige of winning it brings a plus of combativeness that always increases the rhythm of a dispute whose culmination finds its arrival in a straight that points upwards.
In the lands of La Mancha the Cadiz Sergio Garcia returns. The Alcala del Valle suffered a fall during a descent in the past Trofeo Guerrita and is ready to return to competition. “I’m still a little sore from my wounds and so on, but I can train perfectly now. As far as Ontur is concerned, I think that in general we arrived quite well. Personally I don’t reach 100%, but independently of that it will be a very nice race”. Garcia, Carlos Garcia, Joan Marti Bennassar, Sergio Hernandez, Eduardo Perez-Landaluce and Alejandro Ropero form a lineup that completes the Italian Alessio Acco, who debuts with the colors of the team “I’m very well, I hope to be ready for the debut, I’m looking forward to it,” says Acco. “In the last few weeks I’ve come a long way in my form and I’m convinced of my possibilities”.
After the three races, the Catalan of Lizarte Kiko Galván remains at the top of a classification in which Alejandro Ropero from Granada is the best classified among the riders of the Kometa Cycling Team. Ropero is in seventh place, with 126 points. Carlos García, on the other hand, has improved fourteen positions and jumps to fifteenth place, with 59 points.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)