Herrada: perseverance, Pantani posters and height in Teruel

In the peloton since 2011, when he started at Movistar, a team in which he was for seven seasons… until in 2018 he started his adventure at Cofidis. “Who was going to tell me that I was going to know French, you have to get out of your comfort zone,” Jesús Herrada told AS in Oman, where he is competing in the Tour of that country, a race that he is not bad at. : he was 3rd overall in 2019 and 4th in 2018, and this time he comes with ambition: “I like the area and the route. I will be the team’s asset for the general classification. There are short climbs, wide roads, which adapt very well to my qualities. Maybe the Green Mountain, which will decide the general classification on the last day, with 5.7 km at 10%, is too hard for me. We will see”, says the one from Mota del Cuervo, from the generation of 1990. He is one of the most consistent Spanish riders, adding 18 victories in his career. In fact, since 2011, that same year, 2018 and 2020 were the only ones in which he did not raise his arms.

“I think there is a lot of pressure now among the youngsters. Kids with 18 or 19 years who, ugh, stand out because their preparation is great, since junior or cadet, but the difficult part is staying at those levels for a long time, both physically and mentally. We have seen cases of runners who retire at the age of 22 or 23. It is not easy to handle that pressure, added to what one puts on oneself”, Herrada highlighted about early talents. “In my case, once you are over 30 (he is 32) you have to see each year, be in good shape and in head. Both are very important. What Valverde did, being up to the age of 42 competing well from January to October, is very difficult. He is one of my references and I also shared a team with him”, added the Cofidis man, a team with whom his contract ends this year but in which he would not mind continuing: “I feel comfortable. I found a good team, I adapted well and my intention is to continue”. The one who will not do it will be his brother and his partner José, who will retire at the end of the season, in La Vuelta, together with Jesús.

Jesús Herrada talks with AS in Oman

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Jesús Herrada talks with AS in OmanASO/Oman Cycling Association/Thomas Maheux

“When one gets tired of traveling, suffering and training, and lose that itch, it will be time to leave it, but in my case it stays with me because I enjoy the bike and the competition ”, Jesús pointed out that despite playing soccer as a child, at the provincial level, he quickly opted for cycling. “My area is not of a cycling tradition, it was more because of my father and my brothers. I had a room full of posters and Pantani was one of my references. I also liked Óscar Freire a lot”. On long trips, like the one in Oman, Jesus is more into movies than series: “I prefer to see something with a quick start and end”. And, to prepare at altitude, unlike a good part of the peloton (Andorra, Sierra Nevada…), the Cofidis team does it in another place: Valdelinares (Teruel), the municipality of Spain whose population center is located at a higher altitude (1695 meters) and which is located in the Gúdar-Javalambre region: “I have an apartment there and I love the area to train.”

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