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"I started it off really fast and soon I could get sight of Luisle, but I completely lost all my pace halfway through the race; I even thought of withdrawing after 15km, I had no energy, probably because of the heat."

Photo: Sirotti

JONATHAN CASTROVIEJO

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27.06.2015 @ 01:37 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

It was impossible to repeat last year's result in the mountains of the Bierzo, as only four riders took part in Cáceres against six on Ponferrada's Worlds route but the Movistar Team still showed their dominance in the Spanish fight against the clock as they took all three medals in the National TT Championships, held over 45.6km in Extremadura. Jonathan Castroviejo repeated his brilliant performances from 2013 in Bembibre as he took gold in front of Luis León Sánchez (AST), beating him clearly in the second part of the parcours after only twelve seconds separated them following the opening 22km.

 

Behind the two, under terrible heat which quickly empted all riders' water supply, a fight initially going for bronze between Jesús Herrada and Gorka Izagirre started in favour of the younger - Herrada 3" ahead at the intermediate point - but a fantastic finish from the Basque awarded him silver as Sánchez collapsed, with Herrada claiming bronze while Imanol Erviti finished in 9th spot. This 1-2-3 also means three Movistar Team riders will wear national TT champion jerseys for the next twelve months (Malori and Dowsett won their respective titles), the telephone squad taking its victory tally up to 2016 so far in 2015.

 

"An easy win? Well, you better don't say so," Castroviejo laughed. "Just like two years ago, the biggest goal of the season for me is the Tour de France, and the Spanish Championships, just one week earlier, force you to profit from your good fitness. I was doing well - I might lack a bit of competition after a stop following the Dauphiné.

 

"I started it off really fast and soon I could get sight of Luisle, but I completely lost all my pace halfway through the race; I even thought of withdrawing after 15km, I had no energy, probably because of the heat. Fortunately, my body more or less responded again, I got back to good feelings minute by minute and I also realized that my rivals weren't doing well either.

 

"Once I caught Luisle, I knew I only had to keep the pace, without losing momentum, until the very end. It was a horrible day: I spent almost the whole TT without any water, and at the bus, due to an elasticity problem, the heat and the posture over the TT bike, my shoulder came off - luckily, I could get it back on.

 

"Sunday's race? We're a strong team, with Valverde, Ventoso and Rojas suited to such a finish, and we might probably work for them, but we'll see how the race goes.

 

"Obviously, after taking this jersey, you only think about wearing it at the Tour: it's probably the year I head into it in best condition. I felt really well at the Dauphiné, not having trained much, and I didn't do so afterwards either so I should be fresh coming into it. Should health and injuries respect me, I hope to do really well."

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