Movistar claimed its third straight national title in the men’s road race Sunday, with 22-year-old Jesús Herrada kicking to victory in the 208km course in northwest Spain.
Movistar took control of the race over sinuous roads around Bebimbre, over terrain similar to that of the 2014 world championships course in nearby Ponferrada. Movistar put five riders into the final select group after an early break was reeled in with 20km to go.
Riders started to attack and counter-attack in the closing kilometers. Herrada pulled clear with less than 2km to go and held on to claim the biggest win of his budding pro career.
“We had the numbers in the final and we took advantage of it,” Herrada said. “This gives me a big boost for the future.
“It’s hard to say what kind of rider I am, but in one-week stage races, above all if they have a time trial, and one-day races, I feel pretty good. We’ll see how things go in the coming years.”
Herrada picked up where Movistar teammates left off, with J.J. Rojas and Fran Ventoso winning the past two national titles in 2011 and 2012, respectively.
Herrada is on Movistar’s long list to start the Tour de France next weekend in Corsica.