Monday, December 12, 2011

Hernández lands second in Spanish Cup

Orbea's Aitor Hernández was again 'best of the rest' behind the invincible Egoitz Murgoitio in yesterday's fourth and final Spanish Cup cyclo-cross race in Alcobendas. Hernández beat veteran Isaac Suarez into third, 1:11 back on Murgoitio, and thus claimed the same place overall in the race series ahead of Suarez. There was no disputing the winner though: Murgoitio won every single race in the series to cap off a dominant season on the domestic scene so far.

Jon Gómez took out the sub-23 classification ahead of Jonathan Lastra and Pablo Rodríguez. Aketza Peña, another former Euskaltel rider, enjoyed a dismal weekend, finishing 13th yesterday and thus dropping to ninth overall.

Post-race, Peña lamented an untimely crash for his rather off-colour performance, but was nonetheless optimistic about the challenges ahead: "I was riding comfortably alongside Arriola, Suarez, Larriñaga and some under-23 riders (Gómez, Lastra etc) when I crashed. That mix-up meant I had no chance to finish inside the top ten. It was difficult to get back into a good rhythm straight away, but gradually I got up to speed again and passed quite a few riders. Next week I'll line up in Legazpi. It's been a week filled with races, so before that race in Legazpi I'll try to recover from these efforts. But I'm feeling better with each passing race, and my confidence is on the up, so I'm aiming for a strong showing in the Euskadi Championships in Llodio."

Hernández, who's been the revelation of the Spanish cyclo-cross season, was rightly pleased with his ride, and has got his eyes set on the Worlds.

"It's the first time I've competed here, so I'm pleased with the result", he told BiciCiclismo. "Now I'll keep training well to maintain this level of fitness for the national championships and hopefully get selected for the Worlds", the native of Ermua concluded.

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