The Spanish junior men’s team has passed the first big test of the season with flying colors. The Dombeni cyclist Pablo Lospitao was part of the national team that shone as a group in the Paris-Roubaix junior, one of the great events on the international calendar of the category, which also inaugurated the 2023 edition of the Nations Cup. The Spanish team managed to put four cyclists – Héctor Álvarez, Adriá Pericas, Markel Beloki and Pablo Lospitao himself – among the top 26 finishers.
«The race has been very nice for us because we have managed to overcome the mechanical problems and we have been able to compete without mishaps in a race as special as this one», explained the national coach Paco Cerezo in reference to the performance of his runners. «The result told us. It shows that we have important cyclists and that they can give us a lot this year. Furthermore, we must consider that three of our runners were first year and have been at the front, which allows us to make an even more positive balance,” Cerezo continues, adding that “our runners have ended up in the group of favorites that arrived after “The little group that played for the victory was where they should have been and I was very satisfied with their performance.”
The first kilometers of the race have been very nervous and the members of the Spanish National Team have been able to overcome them well thanks to good positioning. Only, Alejandro Abril has been affected by a small hitch that has left him cut off and with no options to re-engage. The rest of the cyclists of the national team -Héctor Álvarez, Adriá Pericas, Markel Beloki, Marc Zafra and Pablo Lospitao- have shown themselves to be very strong and although passing through each of the sections meant the end of the options for a significant number of cyclists , the runners of the Spanish National Team have resisted sufficiently in the lead despite the terrain being more suitable for their characteristics.
With six stages remaining, Marc Zafra gave way and the group that would end up playing for victory has begun to form. A formation of six riders, made up of Matys Grisel, Oscar Chamberlain, Theodor Storm, Paul Fietzke, Niels Driesen and Erazem Valjavec, has stood out and managed to reach the Roubaix velodrome with an advantage.
The victory, finally, went to Grisel ahead of Chamberlain and Storm. At 37 seconds behind the winner, the large group of favorites entered, which included four of the cyclists from the Spanish National Team.
In the sprint, Héctor Álvarez achieved 20th place; Adriá Pericas was 23rd; Markel Beloki, 25th; and Pablo Lospitao, 26th. Marc Zafra finished 46th at just over 5 minutes, while Abril, due to the accident suffered, was unable to finish.