World Cup racing returns to the Spanish capital of Madrid after a hiatus in 2018, and with the last in the first period of Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualification points on the line, the start lists look even more enticingly competitive than usual. With the race taking to the iconic Casa de Campo, where the lake’s renovation once again brings a swimmer’s paradise to central Madrid, the course will be a testing sprint distance affair, the bike segment including four steep, challenging climbs. Let’s hear what the athletes who participated in the press conference said about it.
On returning to the Spanish capital: “I have raced here five years ago, and I have great memories of Madrid, the course and the people here. I know it is a very hard course, especially with the climb in the bike section, but I really enjoy this type of races. They are tough, yes, but they are also honest and really good for the sport”.
On going back to competition after his injury. “In Abu Dhabi I was not yet in the peak of form. I couldn’t almost run before that race, and that’s why I decided to skip WTS Bermuda and do some more training before coming to compete here. I think my foot is alright now, I will definitely try my best to perform well here, I think I am ready and prepared for this hard course”.
On his plans for the rest of the season: “I will be heading to Sierra Nevada (Spain) for a few weeks of training there in high altitude, as some other athletes have done in the last weeks. I really want to do a solid block of training to get back to my 100% form before Leeds, with the goal of being at my peak of training and preparation for the test event this summer”.
On competing only a week after WTS Bermuda. “It is going to be hard to compete in such a hard course only a week after competing in Bermuda. I still feel tired, nut I have two more days to rest before the races here. I have been doing easy workouts here and not hard training, so hopefully I will be OK on race day”.
On racing in Madrid. “I have never raced here before, so it is going to be great, and for us being locals we will have a plus on the spectators cheering for us. It is going to be hard, and the field is really good with some great athletes competing here, but I hope I can do as I have planned and finish in a good place”.
On the season so far and the change of coach: “I had a very good start of the season, with the third place in WTS Abu Dhabi, and I am happy with how I performed in Bermuda. It was a really hard battle, and I had a very solid training before these races, so I think the change of coach has been really good for me and I will keep on working during the rest of the season”.
On the importance of the swim. “We saw it in Bermuda, the swim is very important in all our races. And I think here in Madrid is crucial to be in a very good position when we arrive to the first buoy, because otherwise you will loose a lot of time. So it is super important to swim really hard and fast in the first meters to get that good position. Because if you get out of the water way back, with this bike course, it is going to be very difficult to catch up”.
On how she has recovered after Bermuda: “Bermuda was a bit dissapointing for me, was not my best race. And I was very tired afterwards. In fact, since I arrived in Madrid I have been really sleepy and I am still not training hard, saving some energies. So it is good because I am adapting to the Spanish time and traditions, I wake up late, go to bed also late… Seriously, I was very tired but I think I will be in great shape for racing this Sunday”.
On why she is racing a World Cup in Madrid. “I raced here a few years ago and really like this city, is a perfect place for training and racing. The weather, the green parks, the food, the people, is just really enjoyable. And also, I am heading to Sierra nevada for training after a race, so this race fit well in my calendar. To be honest, when I registered I didn’t even know if it was Sprint or Olympic distance, but I think I will enjoy it a lot, and I will give my best”.
On the tough course. “I really like courses like this one, where you have to work a lot on the bike. I think it will be less drafting here, everyone has to climb the Cuesta de la Vega four times, so that makes it an honest race for all, and I really like that.
On how the season has gone until now: “I did Mooloolaba and New Plymouth World Cups when I still had an small injury on my foot, but now I am completely recovered and training full gas, so I really think I can perform well here and get some really valuable points”.
|Results: Elite Men|
|3.||Roberto Sanchez Mantecon||ESP||00:55:57|
|5.||Antonio Serrat Seoane||ESP||00:56:02|