Poloandbike rider brings home his second consecutive win ahead of an increasingly strong field while Sara Cueto triumphs in the feminine category. The men’s A race podium was completed by Pablo Aitor Bernal, former olympian track cyclist who took 2nd for Santa Fixie BLB team and by Javier Benitez, Junqueras teammate at the strong Poloandbike squad.
Text: Luis de Sousa
Photography: Maria Masó
With over 70 entries from all around the country and despite the reduced women’s field, Criterium Valencia is one of the most important landmarks within the Spanish race calendar and it certainly didn’t disappoint the crowds that gathered last saturday to witness the fixed gear show.
Valencian parcours is well known for its speed: 1,75 km featuring a long plain stretch where riders can hit 58 kmph followed by just 3 technical turns including a hairpin. The track remained the same as the past 3 editions and in this occasion Bernal set the fastest time at an average of 46,75 kmph.
Incidentally the race was not as fast as expected from such talented riders competing. The average speed of barely 41 kmph allowed the field of 34 to remain relatively compact until mid race when it started shattering into small units and a leading pack of 11 men.
Brief attempts of attacking within the front were performed every lap but the strength of Santa Fixie BLB and Poloandbike teams didn’t allow any of them to succeed in breaking away. After 15 laps all was down to a bunch sprint were Junquera imposed his law as he did 12 months ago.
Sara Cueto won the women’s category ahead of Nerea Nuño. In the Men’s B race Pablo Suárez took the win followed by Fran Parra and Luiso del Campo.
Big shout out to the crit organizers for the work well done in this 4th edition. They expect this race to consolidate its high level in future editions and even attract international riders who wish to enjoy fixed gear racing in the sunny mediterranean coast.
1. Luis Junquera
2. Pablo Aitor Bernal
3. Javier Benitez
1. Sara Cueto
2. Nerea Nuño
1. Pablo Suárez
2. Fran Parra
3. Luiso del Campo