|Left to right: Héctor Cubelos, Francisco Cubelos and David R. Dorado. Photo: Escuela Piragüismo Aranjuez|
On a sunny day , but with a strong flooded river Tajo, which had its role in the competition, the audience could enjoy a good day of racing, with the participation of about 130 paddlers of all categories, including the Olympic Francisco "Paco" Cubelos in his last test before the Spanish Championships to be held in Seville in four weeks. The start, due to river conditions and let's say "lack of coordination" between the referee and the paddlers, was somehow difficult and by the time it was done, 80% of the competitors had a two minutes penalty on their race time. Most of junior, U23, but all of Seniors, so actually it didn't have influence in this category.
The race was programmed over 5,000 metres, but river conditions made shorten it to barely 4,000. It was led from start to finish by the younger of Cubelos brothers, Francisco, who took with him about 7 paddlers in a big front bunch, including his brother Héctor, David Rodríguez Dorado, Alfonso Lucas, Enrique Peces and Benjamin Ramírez, among others.
Gradually, and especially due to the difficulty of turns with the strong current the group strated to break up until just Francisco Cubelos, Héctor Cubelos and David R. Dorado came to a close final sprint. In it, Héctor took a more centered line on the river, while Francisco and David went to the left, closer to the bank. So Héctor Cubelos, helped by the flow, came slightly ahead of his brother, first U23, and David R. Dorado, silver medalist in Senior. Enrique Peces, clubmate of Cubelos brothers and former junior marathon world champion (2005) completed the podium in the main category.
However, after computing the time with the 2 minutes penalties applied, Francisco Cubelos was overtaken by Pablo Baeza (Cuenca), who was then proclaimed regional U23 champion. Something similar happened in Juniors, where the first passing the finish line was Julián Neira (Alberche), but finally was bronze after being applied the sanction.
In women , the race was also slightly affected by the current. Not actually in the river, where we could enjoy a thrilling battle with up to 6 paddlers coming together to sprint, but with several disqualifications caused by missing the buoy at the turns. Finally, Isabel López (Cuenca) claimed the senior title.
On the other hand, José Oscar Osma (Cuenca ) was the winner in Senior C1, but might have been a good idea that all the canoes had been in the same start and not divided by categories, as it would have been interesting to see his duel with the promising Noel Domínguez (Alberche), who scored the best time of all canoeists being still U16.
It was also very competitive the race of K1 Masters and U16, one of the largest starts of the day, ended with the victories of Javier Morillas (Cuenca) in Master 35-44, Javier Melús (Aranjuez) in Master +45 and Víctor Pardo (Cuenca) in U16.
You can see the full list of results at this link.