From Herrada to Herrada. Jesús Herrada was the last Spaniard to win in the Vuelta, on August 26, 2022, and he was the first to win in this edition of the Spanish round, in 2023. From Cistierna to La Laguna Negra. From Leon to Soria. A palicua triumph for the Cofidis from Cuenca.
At 33 years old, the youngest of the Herradas, a good climber, has the determination of the great stage hunters and, above all, he is great at the Vuelta. It is the third time that he raises his arms, counting with Ares del Maestrat, in 2019. All getting into a breakaway, all finishing the job. Three successes in his last four participations in the Vuelta – he was not in 2020, the one with the covid –, his career in capital letters without a doubt, since in 2018 he was even the leader for two days. The last national one, in fact.
There are cyclists who grow in a race, who have taken the measure of it, and others, good runners, who crash again and again in that scenario. In the same escapade towards La Laguna Negra Luis León Sánchez gets in. The Murcian from Astana has won four stages in the Tour but he has spent years and years in which the goals of the Tour resist him. He was one of the first of the 26 adventurers who stayed on the ramps of the last port.
While he was getting on, Jesús Herrada wanted to go unnoticed. He let Ganna do it, the giant that he won in Valladolid and that a day later he did another time trial in the last 10 km. He began to shoot, setting the pace that suited his partner Geraint Thomas, who was looked at suspiciously by everyone. And Herrada, without making noise, neither of the first nor of the last. Waiting for the hard moment, the last explosive kilometer.
“Jesus knows how to solve. With few indications they are worth it ”, explains Bingen Fernández, his director. Herrada does not get nervous when the Ecuadorian Caicedo launches. He impatiently lets Thomas do the job of neutralizing him. "I didn't want it to happen to me like last year when Rigoberto beat me, that I rushed and started too soon," the man from Cuenca analyzed in his head, remembering the ending that escaped him at the Tentudía Monastery. "That's why I tried to hold out until the end, breathe and launch the sprint 300 meters from the finish line," he tells of his strategy, and how he beats two youngsters, the 20-year-old Frenchman Grégoire and the 25-year-old Belgian Kron. and winner in Montjuïc.
After seven years as a gregarious man at Movistar, the cyclist from Mota del Cuervo wanted to unleash his personal aspirations in 2017 and time has proven him right. Herrada's victory extends the good season of Spanish cycling, which took three partial wins in the last Tour. In July, Ion Izagirre, Herrada's teammate at Cofidis, Pello Bilbao and Carlos Rodríguez won.