Fran Muñoz and David Domínguez anticipated to the volata in Valladolid: third and fourth in the Memorial Ángel Lozano

Memorial Ángel Lozano / Copa de España
Valladolid – Valladolid (160,1 km)

There was no massive volata this Sunday in front of the Cúpula del Milenio. The Memorial Ángel Lozano 2022 was decided by seven riders, among them the EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team Fran Muñoz and David Domínguez, who managed to arrive slightly ahead, just a few seconds, on a peloton weighed down in his rhythm and his morphology by a couple of pile-ups happened four kilometres from the end. The Asturian Jorge González (Gomur) won within this leading group and Fran Muñoz finished in an outstanding third place.

David Domínguez came close to the podium and finished fourth, but in his legs and in those of the Russian Viacheslav Ivanov were the foundations of the final and definitive movement that would avoid the sprint and fight for the victory. The Sabadell rider was the co-author, in short, of a brilliant exercise in anticipation and perseverance. Domínguez and Ivanov moved within the last 20 kilometres and managed to consolidate a twenty-second margin.

From behind, in the final ten kilometres, five riders jumped from the peloton and caught up with the leading group, something that gave new impetus to the movement: Fran Muñoz (EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team), Vicente Hernaiz (Rias Baixas), Jorge González (Gomur), Daniel Cavia (Eiser-Hirumet) and Steven Bayona (Previley-Maglia-Conforma).

Until Domínguez’s attack, which came after a phase of the race in which the team led by Rafa Díaz Justo set the pace at the head of the group (Muñoz and Fernández, working at the front of the bunch, would finish first and second on the Alto de Simancas), the race had been led for many kilometres by a large breakaway, fifteen riders, who always rode with an advantage of between a minute and a half and two minutes. At times during the race, the wind, for its part, made its presence felt.

A breakaway in which Andrea Pietrobon was present on behalf of the blue team and where Joseba López, Ángel Coterillo, Alejandro Franco, Guillermo Silva, Lucas Towers, Asier González, Marcos Navarrete, Tom Martin, José Luis Faura, Sergio Geerlings, Daniel Cavia, Viacheslav Ivanov), Ismael Guzmán and Jorge Gálvez also rode.

Domínguez, in his start, managed to take the overall of the flying goals and began to lay the foundations of the triumph of the EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team in the classification by squads of the race. Muñoz, with his third place, third top-10 for him in this edition of the tournament, gives a new jump forward in the general classification of a Spanish Cup that in seven days returns to the Basque Country to face one of his more demanding races: the Santikutz Klasika of Legazpi. There, the Mataró rider will start as the overall leader in the U23 category.

David Domínguez: “We had planned to make the race much harder at Simancas and then try it with Fran or Javi, but that first move, as they are very closely watched, didn’t work out. In any case, as there were several steep climbs to the finish, I tried it myself on that terrain. There I was able to get away with the Russian rider and open a gap until we were caught five riders from the end by the five riders where Fran was coming. From there to the finish line it was all about pushing harder and helping Fran to get as many points as possible for the overall in the Cup. In the end it worked out well, we were able to get a third and a fourth place in the end, and we were able to win the team victory and Fran took the U23 lead. On a personal level, I’m also happy for the flying goals and the satisfaction of being on the podium, which is always nice”.

Fran Muñoz: “We are very happy with this third place and with the leadership of the Cup in the U23 category. The goal is to go race by race, that’s why I didn’t expect to get the lead today, especially in a race like this one. But in the end these things are a reflection of the work that is being done and this Sunday the team was once again at a spectacular level. An incredible job of control in a race that in the first part was very hard because of the speed and the appearance of the wind. Pietrobon in the breakaway has relieved us of a lot of work during that phase of the race and then David’s move has opened a door for us to avoid a pure volley. In a mass sprint there are always more possible contenders, but if you manage to avoid it, the chances increase. And that’s what happened. In the bunch there was a moment of doubt, because David and Ivanov were resisting without being neutralised, and that’s when we moved from behind. We had to try it, you never know. And today, the move was successful. Now it’s time to rest and in a few days we’ll be back on the Basque roads. I really enjoy the Basque races and I hope to do well there”.

Rafa Díaz Justo, director of the U23 team: “Valladolid is a race for sprinters. These two previous years we had a pure sprinter and then we worked to control. This time we didn’t have such a fast man and we tried to play on anticipation. If a sprinter gets to the sprint, he will have more chances to win than a rider who is not such a sprinter. And in the end the idea was to put people in the breakaways, generate work from other teams and try to be strong in the final part. That was the strategy we followed and it worked out well. In the end, in a race that wasn’t so favourable, points were cut. However, we continue to think race by race, happy with the U23 leadership and with the team leadership, which is not something we were looking for directly but we are finding it because we are working very well in all the races”.

[📷 @guillermoib_ 🙏 / (1, 2 y 3)]