Up to six riders from the Continental Polartec-Kometa competed this past weekend in the Tour de Flanders U23 representing, at the Nations Cup promoted by the International Cycling Union since 2007, their respective countries. Matteo Moschetti and Michele Gazzoli, with Italy. Patrick Gamper, for Austria. Michael Ries, for the Netherlands. And Isaac Cantón and Diego Pablo Sevilla, for Spain. Cantón, 38th, was the best of the Spanish team, although within the team this honour went to Gamper, 32nd in the finish.
“What I liked the most were the levels and the atmosphere of this race. It was inevitable not to remember the professional test. The route is really nice”, explains a Canton who, together with Seville, later made a very long road trip from Belgium to compete the next day in Amorebieta’s Klasika Primavera. “To have the opportunity to go through such mythical stretches in the world of cycling is something magnificent”, Seville, for its part, points out when it comes to assessing what it has liked most about its participation. “And the race itself, a fast, hard and selective race, not only on the cobblestone walls, but also on the paving stones,” he adds.
Unlike Canton, Seville could not finish the race, to their regret. “Bad luck,” he laments; “we had passed the most complicated walls, the Oude Kwaremont and the Paterberg. I was well placed, from the middle to the front of the group, but in a curve another runner came into me and threw me out. I got up as fast as I could, but I had a problem with the chain, it took me a while to get back on my feet and hunting became impossible”.
“This year is the first time that I am running these races”, says Cantón from La Mancha. “Two weeks ago I competed in Ghent-Wevelgem and now in Flanders. They’re the two I’ve done until now, and I’ve been really good at them. I think it’s good to run this kind of race. To file us off like cyclists, because they give a lot of rhythm. And I’m also realizing that, being very tough, I’m not bad at it. In my second race, I was just a few minutes away from the lead group. It’s an experience that’s going to help me gain confidence for future races, whether they’re classics or stage laps,” added an Isaac to whom, when asked about tastes between one-day races or stage laps, he tilted towards the second one.
After the race, Canton and Seville travelled to Brussels to start their journey to the Basque Country, where they had competition the following day, but they missed the first of the flights and were forced to face a long road trip in an RFEC vehicle where the masseur and the mechanic, Cristian Fernández and Iván Moya, took turns driving. “The truth is that when you travel at night, even if you don’t sleep well, you get a good night’s sleep and it gets much more enjoyable. But we had about 1,200 kilometers ahead of us and we started traveling late. We didn’t have a lot of time,” remembers Sevilla.
The two riders of Polartec-Kometa squad will return to the national team this weekend to take part in the ZLM Tour in the Netherlands on Saturday 14th. The province of Zeeland hosts the fourth round of the UCI National Cup, a race that is characterised by a route of 178 kilometres very exposed to the wind as it travels along routes that link islands and crosses territories won from the sea.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)