Sunday, March 10, 2013

Estévez best sub-23 in Copa de España

Naturgas Energía continued their barnstorming start to the 2013 season by taking the lead in the overall sub-23 Copa de España rankings on Sunday courtesy of tenacious sprinter Imanol Estévez.

Estévez made waves last year by taking out the overall Torneo Lehendakari trophy in his maiden year in the amateur category, and has gotten the new year off to a similarly impressive start. Having taken third in the first Copa de España race in Don Benito two weeks ago, the native of Vitoria-Gasteiz grabbed a more modest 14th in Aiztondo on Sunday, but it was still more than enough to grab hold of the sub-23 overall lead.

There was no beating former Andorra-Grandvalira pro Vicente García de Mateos in the 143km race, the GSport-Valencia Terra i mar rider soloing in ahead of Alberto Gallego of Bicicletas Rodríguez and Basque Júlen Mitxelena of Gipuzkoa-Eki Sport (the team formerly known as Bidelan-Kirolgi).

The Naturgas Energía youngsters failed to animate the racing in any meaningful way, but still grabbed fourth in the team rankings through placing three riders in the top 30.

Results (full results here):
  • 1, Vicente García de Mateos (GSport-Valencia Terra i mar), 3:36:46
  • 2, Alberto Gallego (Bicicletas Rodríguez), 0:04
  • 3, Júlen Mitxelena (Gipuzkoa-Eki Sport), 1:06
  • 4, Miguel Ángel Benito (Caja Rural), 1:07
  • 5, Diego Rubio Hernández (Caja Rural), s.t.
  • 14, Imanol Estévez (Naturgas Energía), 2:10
  • 21, Loïc Chetout (Naturgas Energía), s.t.
  • 27, Víctor Etxeberría (Naturgas Energia), 2:17
Photo: Pascal Baudron

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