Hatherly takes victory in Banyoles in a final duel between six riders
Hatherly takes the victory in Banyoles after deciding the race with a move on the last lap that left the other five riders who formed the leading group behind. Schwarzbauer came second and Carod was third. Valero had to settle for fifth place after leading for much of the race.
Hatherly wins the Shimano Super Cup Massi de Banyoles with an attack in the final stages that no one could replicate
The riders encountered a drier course than the one seen in the women's race. The start was uneventful. Hatherly took the first position, followed by Carod, who stuck to his wheel to finish the start lap with a small gap of 3 seconds.
The first lap started with the two leaders pushing hard, while a large group of riders - including Valero and Campos - came from behind. It only took a few meters for them to chase the lead and form a huge group at the front of the race.
Hatherly held on first position and Valero moved into second. The group stretched out without letting anyone go. Carod, Sarrou and Dascalu went after the Spanish champion.
The top three opened a small gap on the others, although everyone was aware that the first lap had to be used to take mental note and learn how the terrain was after the heavy rain that had fallen during the night.
The first lap ended and Hatherly changed the pace. Although he opened a small gap, Valero and Carod pushed and closed it. Behind, the chasing group closed by Cullell also reduced the gap.
Even so, the first three continued to escape while the immediate pursuers were reduced to a group of eight that was 16 seconds behind.
Valero took over the lead, Hatherly was on his wheel and although Carod lost a few meters, he regained it in the final part of the lap. The trio passed the finish line again and the chasing group did the same 25 seconds later.
The BH Coloma Team rider carried the weight of the lead without fail, while the margin in the lead widened little by little.
Despite this, the chasing group, which had been reduced to seven riders, managed to reduce the gap: a 30-second gap was reduced to 13 seconds at the start of the third lap.
It was time for Hatherly to take the lead again. Froidmont led the chasing group and was the main responsible for the approach to the lead. Sarrou could not keep up with the Belgian and the chasing group was down to just four riders, Froidmont-Schwarzbauer-Schneller-Fluckiger.
Valero struggled to keep up with Hathery and Carod, but soon after rejoined the trio that had dominated the race from the start.
Another pass through the finish line. No change at the top of the table and with the chasers at 27 seconds. Again Valero in front. The rider from Baza tightened when the terrain was steep upwards. Hatherly resisted but Carod gave some meters and lost 4 seconds.
Behind, Fluckiger made a move to try to get away and secure fourth place at a time when there were only three chasers, the Swiss and Schwarzbauer and Froidmont.
Fluckiger found the strength to close the gap to the three in front and even had enough energy to close the gap and catch up with the leaders.
Last lap. And the newly formed quartet became a group of six when Schwarzbauer and Froidmont also reached the finish line. They started the lap together. It was only a matter of time before someone attacked.
Valero set a high and crushing pace that forced everyone to make an extra effort, but for the moment no one was off the pace. The Spaniard continued to insist. At that moment Schwarzbauer changed the pace with an attack that Hatherly replicated. The South African took the lead and Valero was third. Hatherly's great move opened a gap of a few seconds with the German, while the rest were losing a vital advantage for the victory.
6 seconds between Hatherly and Schwarzbauer; the others more than 10. Nobody could stop the South African and Hatherly reached the finish line first to raise his arms to the sky of Banyoles. Schwarzbauer did it in second position and Carod completed the podium.
Froindmont was fourth and Valero had to settle for fifth, 18 seconds behind the winner.