The man from Alicante, who at only 19 years old is one of the great promises of Spanish cycling, opens his record at the Circuit
There comes a time when a cycling race is more a duel of wills than muscles. And there, in suffocation, when it comes to winning even without air in the lungs, the champions appear. John Ayuso. At 19 years old and against rivals such as Jai Hindley, winner of the Giro, and Alejandro Valverde, winner of almost everything, the young Barcelona cyclist raised in Jávea opened his professional record with victory at the Getxo Circuit. The first victory of many to come. The classic Biscayan, who does not stop gaining height, will forever bear the stamp of having been the baptism of a number destined to mark an era. Getxo uncovered Ayuso, the gifted man who learns from another genius, Tadej Pogacar, in the ranks of the UAE team and under the command of a talent scout, Basauri player Joxean Fernández, ‘Matxin’.
«Have you gone out to win with Ayuso?». ‘Matxin’ nods. It was his asset. Still a teenager, he is already starting to load up on the stripes. Let him get used to that weight. It doesn’t seem to cost you. His partner Bennett threw him on Pike Bidea, Vertical Ramp. Ayuso, who had just changed his bike due to a puncture, jumped in search of Kelderman and Piccolo, the two runners who had gained a few meters on the previous slope, the Vivero. He had them within range. But he missed them as he rounded the top of Pike. That didn’t stop him. He continued against the warm wind blowing from the Abra. The Frenchman Ferron caught up with him from behind and, finally, already at the Lamiako dock, they joined the two escapees. A few meters behind them was Buchmann, fourth in the 2019 Tour and Kelderman’s teammate in the Bora.
The four reached Arriluze. The slope of Txomintxu. The garden of the Getxo Circuit. Buchmann stuck to them, but exhausted. No rebuke. The climb to the Arkotxa wall remained, 400 meters of agony. To pedal without oxygen. With wooden muscles. In these conditions weight cyclists emerge. Kelderman has fought to win the Giro. Piccolo is one of the great Italian hopes. Ferron comes from winning a stage of the Dauphiné. Kelderman, the most accomplished, wanted to set the pace. Piccolo, a former European junior time trial champion, knew of his power. In this swirl of ambitions, Ayuso was at the center. He seemed on edge. He was.
It was no longer the moment of force, but of will. Nobody wanted to win as much as him. When he noticed Piccolo trailing him, he refused to defeat. He kept the Italian on par with him and put in those final ten pedal strokes that draw the line between good riders and the best. Ayuso, not yet 20 years old, seems destined to soon occupy one of the gaps left by the golden generation of Spanish cycling, that of Contador, Freire, ‘Purito’, Samuel, Sastre and, still in contention, Valverde, the Murcian 42 years old who had just debuted as a professional cyclist when Juan Ayuso was born in 2002.
Ayuso is the replacement for Valverde’s generation, who debuted in 2002, the year the Alicante native was born
Despite puncturing at a key moment, he caught Kelderman and Piccoloy beat them in Arkotxa
The two were yesterday at the exit of the Circuit of Getxo-Memorial Hermanos Otxoa. The Guggenheim is an unbeatable decoration for any event. The best business card of Bilbao and Bizkaia. For this reason, this classic veteran has extended to the esplanade of the museum to organize the exit. Seeks international projection. He wants to be the great cycling reference in the territory. And this edition has consolidated that project. Many of the best teams in the world circulated on the stage of the team presentation. Bilbao begins to rehearse for the already close landing in the city of the 2023 Tour de France.
Elosegui pulls Movistar
After the flag, the race organized by the Punta Galea Cycling Society and in which EL CORREO collaborates returned to its place of origin, Getxo. To the circuit through Txomintxu and the Arkotxa wall. Every half hour the runners passed by. It gave the fans time to have a drink and mitigate the effect of the resol. In some bars you could follow the trawler regatta. A while of rowing and another of cycling. “What are they coming!” And to the gutter. to cheer up This is the Getxo Circuit.
Applause came from the sidewalks for the escapees: Madrazo, Etxeberria, Alba, Torres, Guerrero, Martín, Mesa, Rosskopf and Van Empel. Behind, Íñigo Elosegui set the pace of the chase. After so much setback with his health, the Biscayan from Movistar begins to meet again. He charged almost alone with the platoon. He didn’t let the escapees go more than two minutes. He wanted to have them within range so that later Valverde and Aranburu could finish off. Movistar is in need of points to maintain its place in the World Tour. Joining Movistar’s hunting party were Ayuso’s UAE and Bettiol, Carthy and Cort Nielsen’s Education First.
The classic, with the escape about to melt, entered the final lap, the long one, which includes the climbs to Vivero (by Erletxes) and Pike Bidea, which traces the route that the Bilbao stage will have that will open the 2023 Tour .Grand Boucle scent. The Bora launched Kelderman into the Nursery. Piccolo jumped on that adventure. The UAE, led from the car by ‘Matxin’, kept them in sight. The Biscayan coach ordered Bennett to be squeezed at Pike Bidea.
It was the announcement of Ayuso’s detonation. At that time he began to build his first triumph as a professional cyclist. He unfurled his muscle. And then, at the final wall of Arkotxa, he threw his will. He has it all. The Getxo Circuit will forever be the first line of a list of winners that yesterday celebrated his baptism. The future awaits Ayuso. When he was still a promising junior cyclist he said that he had “grown up” watching the Tour. “It’s my dream”. Yesterday it premiered on the route that will start the Grande Boucle in Bilbao. A symbolic place to take off.