Iván Cortina, rainbow dream

Ivan Garcia Cortina, who for many has been a stroke of fresh air in the long absence of classicians in a country of cyclists of gran tours, where by the way also develops with comfort.

In his youth has ceased to be a promise to become a reality of Spanish cycling, and for Yorkshire 2019 appears in the pools to opt to wear the rainbow. And what a last month of the Asturian, seventh in the general of the Binck Bank Tour, at only one minute thirteen of the winner and more recently third in the Grand Prix Cyclist of Montréal (CAT 1 UCI World Tour), only behind Greg Van Avermaet and Diego Ulissi, race of only one day with 4700m of accumulated ascent. These are his credentials and that’s why we wanted from RAW to talk with Ivan before leaving to England.

Nerves?

“Nerves nothing, we are concentrated, doing long workouts, yesterday 5 hours, today 6 … easy… and tomorrow we leave for Yorkshire. (With a confident voice and naturally)”

Do you think you are one of the favorites?

“No, not as much as a favourite. That is the most important race of the year for many and the hardest. It’s 280Km, my longest race as well as my first World Championship. It has perhaps more hardness than a San Remo, we will have to try to go as far as possible, I’m in good condition of form, I have freshness despite being in October, some arrive tired at this height of season, wanting to finish … for me is the penultimate race of the year and I arrive with motivation.”

After the Tour, how did you prepare this world championship? Did you think you were going to be selected?

“I didn’t know if I would be selected, I took care about the feeding and above all I tried to do different things to have the head in the correct place, not exhausted; mountain bike, descents … different things after the Tour. As they say the head is sometimes more important than the legs. it is true the expression: “the legs the tour” the truth is that, thanks to them, I’ve done well at Binck Bank Tour and Montreal.”

Strategy, you usually escape before the climbs, but there are very powerful selections that presumably will disarticulate the breakaways… without spoilers, is there a plan?

“No, to be ahead and as far as possible, as well as to help Alejandro at the end of the race.

If we go far enough to play Alejandro’s card or if I’ll feel well…

This kind of racing, you have to save all as you can and more because then you’ll need it. We are two different types of riders (talking about the Murcian), the way to save energies that we have is different, he in the climbs can go ahead and I “stay” to save energy as much as possible. 

Also when you eat at the table you see it, how they take care of themselves, not everybody takes care of themselves the same (he talks about Alejandro again). Everyone learns over the years, you know what works for you at all levels.”

D day, what do you think about the circuit, what aspects concern you? 

“I honestly didn’t see it, I didn’t want to look at anything until we were there. I prefer to be calmer without knowing, I wait to arrive to see the routes.”

Stronger teams, which are the main rivals?

“As squads Netherlands and Belgium, Van der Poel for the Netherlands and as for Belgium a little more open, Gilbert, Van Avermaet… I don’t think so…Italy also has a good team, Trentin, Colbrelli… it’s a very open World Championship, it won’t be easy.”

England, autumn…Does rain favor you as a northerner?

“I go better with rain, I could do well in a changing climate. The weather changes every day there… but it’s better not to look at the weather forecasts, like the route.”

Do you already check the coffee shops in Leeds?

“I’ve located the Alicante ones now that we’re here, something else I haven’t looked at yet either, but I’ll take a look (laughs)”

Photos by Guille Rodríguez and Iván Cortina archives

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