Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Manuel Busto and Emilio Llamedo in K2 and David R. Dorado in K1, winners at Spanish Rivers Cup Race 2

Under a heavy sun and hot weather, last Saturday it was held at River Tajo, Aranjuez (Spain), the 40th edition of the Raphel del Tajo, second race of the Spanish Rivers Cup, where the paddlers compete over 18 km. (9 upstream and then back downstream) with two compulsory portages.
Winners Busto and Llamedo

Before the race everybody was looking forward to one of the bests K2 entry lists of the year, after the Sella Descent. Despite some non-showing boats, at the start line we could see top Spanish couples like Busto-Llamedo, Alonso-Guerrero (in their expected return to the K2), Merchán-Baños, Carril-Peiteado, Moreno-Valle, Portela-Martínez, Pérez-Hernández, Salas-Martínez, Morillas-Poyatos, Santos-Machado.

The start was extremely quickly, headed by Julio Moreno and Juan Antonio Valle, who made a leading group which started losing components after the first flatwater kilometres. Some of them, who decided going on a Sprint kayak (under the hull rudder) had problems trying to avoid the weed concentrated at the banks when trying to seize them going upstream, and a couple of the top K2 decided to give up when the weed was already too much to kep on going. That was the case for Portela-Martínez or Merchán-Baños. Meanwhile, the leading bunch, after 5 kilometres, was facing the pure river itself upstream, with some tricky curves of strong stream who made them go one by one approaching the bank as much as possible. It was then when the ten times marathon world champion Manuel Busto and his new partner Emilio Llamedo (Piragüismo Astur) opened a small gap. As soon as they realized their contestants were in problems to keep the pace, they made a strong push towards the first portage, just a hundred metres before the turn to complete the race downstream. At this point, the prosecutors were just two boats, now, those composed by Alonso-Guerrero (Palentino) and Moreno-Valle (Iuxtanam).

The effort of these two couples didn't managed to close the gap, as Busto and Llamedo were pushing really hard to arrive with enough time in advance to the flatwater section before the finish line. Already out of the provisional podium were paddling in solitude Luis Amado Pérez and Óscar Hernández (SCD Ribadesella) and with more than a minute with the following group, composed by Morillas-Poyatos (Cuenca), Salas-Martínez (Sirio), Machado-Santos (Palentino) and Carril-Peiteado (Feve Oviedo Kayak), with this last couple withdrawing in the end.

So on, things didn't change much after the second portage and arriving to the finish line, with Busto-Llamedo setting a new race record in 1h04’35”. In the fight for the second place Alonso and Guerrero took advantage over Moreno-Valle in 1h05’24”, completing the podium.

In K1, already from the beginning the local favorite of the Club Escuela Piragüismo Aranjuez, David Rodríguez Dorado, wanted to link a new victory to the one he got last year in K2 with his brother Javier. Seizing his knowledge of the river, he took advantage of every single metre of the course upstream and passed the Reina Bridge (km. 5) with a small advantage over José María Pariente. At the first portage, the K1 race had become already a one to one prosecution, with the top five paddling on their own and not making any group at all while trying to overpass some of the K2 of the first batch.

David Rodríguez Dorado after the first portage

Finally, David R. Dorado made good his advantage and claimed victory with José María Pariente (Halcones de Corvera) second and David Flecha (Iuxtanam-Monteoro de Mérida) in third position.

Here you can check the full results: here for the masters and at this other link for the senior, juniors and U16.