Iván García Cortina: an oasis in Spanish peloton

Jan 15, 2017
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I would like to open this thread dedicated to Iván Cortina, let me know if is it there any other about him, but I couldn't find any.

Spanish best generation of riders, Contador, Rodríguez, Valverde, Samuel Sánchez, Luis León Sánchez, etc. is coming to an end. Only a few riders are expected to be top cyclists in the upcoming years, Enric Mas or Marc Soler for example, but Spanish amateur cycling is in decline, less teams, less races, not enough U23 cyclists with good level (which is proven in U23 international races)...

Cortina is one of those exceptions, and not only because of his level as a cyclist, but because he's not the typical Spanish rider, he's not a climber, he's a strong guy, fast, and he loves the northern classics. We hope he can follow Flecha's steps, and if possible with better results (although those of Juan Antonio were very nice!), he was top10 in Tour of Flanders U23 and Paris-Roubaix U23. He had to go out of Spanish cycling and race for Quick Step's CT team, Klein Constantia. Last year he was 30 times! in the top10, winning only a stage in Course Cycliste de Solidarnosc. But the most important, he's always there, he has no fear about sprinting, racing in the cobblestones or in bad weather.

I know him since he was junior, when he won Spanish Championship. He's from my town and I know how he trains, how he thinks, and what everyone says about him and his future. He has something different, he could be the best Asturian rider since "Tarangu", if he has good luck (I mean, no serious injuries, a contract in a WT team, etc.).

This year he has moved to Bahrain-Merida, now he's in a WT team, and he's expected to be in the most important races in the Spring calendar. Probably with Mas and Soler, he's the only hope for Spanish fans and these next 2 years will be the key for him. He's still 21, but if he can at least be with the top guys in any of the top Spring races, we could talk about a top guy for next decade.

I'll try to keep the thread updated. In case someone doesn't know him, here's his profile from Bahrain-Merida's website: http://teambahrainmerida.com/new2017/?page_id=8419
 
Feb 18, 2016
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Thanks for sharing Gambadi. I knew about Mas and Soler but had not heard much about Cortina. I'll keep an eye on him during this year. Hopefully everything goes well for the Spanish guys this year so they can progress even further.

Shame about the decline. There's plenty of money going to other sports in Spain. When do you reckon the decline started? After the financial crisis in 2008?
 
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calleking said:
Thanks for sharing Gambadi. I knew about Mas and Soler but had not heard much about Cortina. I'll keep an eye on him during this year. Hopefully everything goes well for the Spanish guys this year so they can progress even further.

Shame about the decline. There's plenty of money going to other sports in Spain. When do you reckon the decline started? After the financial crisis in 2008?
You are right about the financial crisis. Almost all the smaller Spanish teams were sponsored by the local banks, remember for example the Andalucia/Caja Sur team, who were obliged to to sponsor local iniatives. The banks went down and so did the sponsorships.

More on topic. Great to have a Spanish cobbled classic contender. I thought he was more of a sprinter.
 
Jan 15, 2017
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calleking said:
Thanks for sharing Gambadi. I knew about Mas and Soler but had not heard much about Cortina. I'll keep an eye on him during this year. Hopefully everything goes well for the Spanish guys this year so they can progress even further.

Shame about the decline. There's plenty of money going to other sports in Spain. When do you reckon the decline started? After the financial crisis in 2008?
Well it was a mixture of financial crisis as GP Blanco explained, with local banks and regional administrations sponsoring teams, and doping scandals. After "Operación Puerto", people in general changed their image of cycling. Sports media here is very powerful and they've seen cycling as a way to sell papers, tv and radio programs, etc. talking about doping. So many people who don't know about cycling, just only football (soccer), see cycling as a sport involving drugged guys on a bike. As an example, this is the front page of the most important sports paper after Ricco tested positive. They never talk about cycling, and suddenly...For people who don't know Spanish, it says, "Is cycling true?



This kind of *** is what people in general who is not interested in cycling (appart from the Tour in case a Spanish is winning) reads. And many private sponsors don't want people seeing them sponsoring drugged guys on a bike.

In addition, crisis has an impact in population, Spanish people is getting old and there are no births. Now with the crisis, it's not posible to have a child for the majority of people. Here in my region there are only 20-25 junior cyclists, in a population of 1.7 million. Also soccer is having trouble with this, so imagine in cycling :(
 
Jan 15, 2017
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Cortina will be racing in Dubai Tour. 4 completely flat stages. With him will be Colbrelli or Bole, so probably he'll be working for these guys. If he has freedom in any stage for sure he'll be sprinting in front.

This is the Bahrain-Merida startlist for the race:
31 Colbrelli, Sonny
32 Bole, Grega
33 Bozic, Borut
34 Feng, Chun Kai
35 Gasparotto, Enrico
36 Garcia Cortina, Ivan
37 Per, David
38 Pibernik, Luka
 
Thanks for creating this topic. I remember listening to a podcast last year were Cortina, participated together with coach Chus Rodrigo and former pro, Enrique Cima and the latter two both seemed very positive about Cotina's future development.

In a perfect world, it could be interesting to see him have a go already on Hatta Dam, but who knows with Colbrelli on board!!! Cortina goes uphill good for such a heavy guy, in Croatia, on stages to Labin and Motovun he was very impressive I thought... Of course, as a junior, he was also super strong.

Great prospect!
 
Jan 15, 2017
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Nice riding from Cortina in Dubai. Last 3 stages did great work for Colbrelli, although the Italian had bad luck. Today he was in the breakaway giving other teams the responsability in the final part of the stage. After being caught, he was able to push hard for a pair of minutes more at high speed.

I'm seeing him not only with no fear (something I'd expected), but with good legs in this first part of the season. His job today is a good example. It's a shame Colbrelli is not at the same level of top sprinters here...
 
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GambadiLegno said:
Nice riding from Cortina in Dubai. Last 3 stages did great work for Colbrelli, although the Italian had bad luck. Today he was in the breakaway giving other teams the responsability in the final part of the stage. After being caught, he was able to push hard for a pair of minutes more at high speed.

I'm seeing him not only with no fear (something I'd expected), but with good legs in this first part of the season. His job today is a good example. It's a shame Colbrelli is not at the same level of top sprinters here...
If the race were hillier then Colbrelli would be consistently up there. But it is so pan flat that he has little chance against the likes of Cavendish and Kittel

Cortina has been very good in this race. I expect he will be working for Colbrelli some more in the Spring but will have a free rein come April and Flanders and Roubaix
 
Jan 15, 2017
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He's done really good in Vuelta a Andalucía, sprinting in the last stage and finishing in 2nd place in the main group, and 12th in the previous stage in another sprint won by Coquard.

This Saturday is the first real test in Omploop Het Nieuwsblad, I don't really know what to expect from him, as with Colbrelli in the startlist I'm not sure if he'll have any freedom to ride for himself, although the Italian has never had a good result in the Northern classics, while Cortina has been top 10 both in Flanders and Roubaix U23.
 
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GambadiLegno said:
This Saturday is the first real test in Omploop Het Nieuwsblad, I don't really know what to expect from him, as with Colbrelli in the startlist I'm not sure if he'll have any freedom to ride for himself, although the Italian has never had a good result in the Northern classics, while Cortina has been top 10 both in Flanders and Roubaix U23.
Possibly because he has hardly ever ridden them :)
I believe Bahrein will let most riders free to do their race anyway.
 
Jan 15, 2017
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SafeBet said:
GambadiLegno said:
This Saturday is the first real test in Omploop Het Nieuwsblad, I don't really know what to expect from him, as with Colbrelli in the startlist I'm not sure if he'll have any freedom to ride for himself, although the Italian has never had a good result in the Northern classics, while Cortina has been top 10 both in Flanders and Roubaix U23.
Possibly because he has hardly ever ridden them :)
I believe Bahrein will let most riders free to do their race anyway.
Well, he has ridden GW last year and every year he rides in De Panne (although it's not the same as a cobbles classic). What I mean is that, he's not a guy that you could say "hey, this rider is made for this".

I hope Bahrain goes with no leader too, in fact it's the best way of having a good result for them as they have no real chance with any guy.
 
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