Padrón and Vigo will close the Copa de España

XI Rutas Xacobeas and Copa de España Vigo
18th and 19th of May

After nine races since 25 February, the Copa de España comes to an end for the team. Padrón and Vigo in Galicia will host the last two rounds of the prestigious competition. The team will be looking for the long-awaited victory that still eludes them in the trophy and to correct the “mistake made” that conditioned last Sunday’s result in the Memorial Momparler with the 10th position of the Italian Tommaso Bessega behind the escapees.

A block of cyclists will travel to the races in Galicia with the aim of achieving a great result first and then, thinking about the imminent Volta do Futuro in which the team will participate from next Wednesday. Luca Bagnara, Gerard Cano and Antonio González will arrive to the races in the north of the country after competing in the Ronde de L’Isard. Dario Giuliano will return to compete with the team after participating in the U23 French Championships with the Occitania team where he finished 10th and Martín Barrero, Pablo García and Gabriele Raccagni will repeat on last weekend’s line-up.

Luca Bagnara during the last Ronde de l'Isard
Luca Bagnara during the last Ronde de l’Isard

The first day of competition will be held in Padrón, the XI Rutas Xacobeas will be valid for the Copa de España one more year with a similar route, but updated from the 2023 one. The route will be very demanding, they will climb over 2000 meters of positive altitude accumulated in 165 kilometres. Bexo and Formarís (3rd category), Agrela and A Pereira (2nd category) and Martelo and Aguasantas (1st category) will be the six mountain passes to be overcome by the cyclists. Along the way and before facing the decisive climbs from the 100th kilometre onwards, they will have three intermediate sprints and two special sprint to complete the prizes together with the king of the mountain prize.

On Sunday the Copa de España will arrive to Vigo. The city in the province of Pontevedra will once again present a route which, according to the organisers themselves, will be the toughest race of this edition of the Copa de España. The cyclists will face, after a very demanding previous day, 192 kilometres with a little more than 4000 meters of positive climb. From the beginning, the race will present ascents that will reduce the composition of the peloton with the climb to the Alto da Groba of 1st category. The 3rd category Alto de Tebra will be the next ascent before tackling the one after one climbs to Monte Alba (2nd) and Galiñeiro (2nd). The first four passes will be overcome in the first 100 kilometres of the race. The 1st category Monte Aloia will come next before two short non scoring climbs to A Abelenda and O Confurco. With practically no rest, the last major climb of the day will arrive at Fonte dos 100 anos (2nd). Once the climb is crowned, they will head back to Vigo where they will finish as a novelty at Monte O Castro with just over 2 kilometres with an average climb gradient of 3.7%.

Luca Bagnara was the best classified rider of the team in the overall of Ronde de l’Isard. He is in good shape to face the races in Galicia and the upcoming Volta do Futuro: “This weekend’s races will be very hard, especially because they are very long and that’s why it will be important to manage yourself. I am fine, although we will go with a team that is very strong and we will try to do well. We will also have our sights set on the stage race in Portugal next week. I hope to feel good these two days and consequently in Portugal”.

“The situation has meant that in the last few races we have had to take fast riders to mountain terrain and vice versa to compete on two fronts at the same time. For these two races we are going with a very fit team, with most of the riders who were in the Ronde de l’Isard and with Pablo García, who, despite the cramps he has suffered lately, is in good shape. It is a group in good shape and with a good level. As far as the Copa de España classification is concerned, we are far away, but we are going to compete in both races. They are very tough races because of the mileage and the accumulated climb meters. At this point in the Copa de España there is a guerrilla war for the general classification and the other day they let a very big breakaway escape. This week we can’t allow something like that to happen in order to be able to compete in the race”, explains team manager Rafael Diaz Justo before going to Galicia.

18/05 XI Rutas Xacobeas: Padrón – Padrón (165km)

19/05 Copa de España Vigo: Vigo – Monte O Castro (192km)

Images: Ziklix and Florian Frison