The Polartec-Kometa Continental Team has led a solid debut in the professional category after completing its first two stages tours, Valencia and La Provence. In both races, the still very young professionals of Jesús Hernández and Dario Andriotto have exceeded expectations and achieved very promising results.
In Valencia, in front of 11 ProTour and other ProContinental teams, with a very high level and very harsh weather conditions in the last stages, the team performed very well highlighting the work of their sprinters, Michele Gazzoli and Matteo Moschetti. Despite their youth, the first of them achieved an interesting eleventh place in the sprint of the last stage, while all together made their first team time trial, in which they counted on the advice of Alberto Contador, who started them in the specialty secrets, even on a rainy and windy day that was the cause of the falls of Kevin Inkelaar and Moschetti.
In the second race of the season, the Tour de La Provence, in the south of France, the Polartec-Kometa faced the whole French peloton, plus some Belgian and Italian teams, which again meant facing a strong squad, although somewhat more affordable than the Valencian one.
The team responded again to the challenge and took the opportunity to confirm the good form of Michel Ries, who finished 18 overall, at 1:38 behind the winner, and Miguel Ángel Ballesteros, who was proclaimed first Spanish rider. Both cyclists managed to finish fourth and fifth, respectively, in the youth classification, shining at high level in the French mountain.
Sevilla, king of the Mountains
Along with the work in the general clasification of Ries and Ballesteros, the highlight in the Provence was the combativeness and knowing how to be in the race of Diego Pablo Sevilla, who managed to get into two breakaways, in second and fourth stages. The first earned him the provisional jersey of the Combined, while in the second took the opportunity to beat the much more veteran Madrazo in the standings of the Mountain, winning the overall. It was his first race as a professional, since he was one of those who did not race in Valencia, and of course he showed that has deserved the jump to the category.
Among the debutants also highlighted the Colombian Wilson Peña, who only two days before had arrived from his country with almost no time to acclimatize to his new team, and the champion of Spain, Isaac Cantón, who showed what they can do on next races.
Finally, on the last day, the most rouleur of the team travelling to France, Juan Camacho, highlighted on the fourth and final day, where he was very close to giving the great surprise when he launched a solo attack with 15 kilometers to go that almost earned him the stage victory. Only an unfavorable terrain at the end and the front wind made the peloton reach him at 1500 meters to the finish line.
This weekend the Polartec-Kometa returns to the south of France to ride the Tour du Haut-Var, a two-day stage race in which it will again face a world-class peloton.