Published on : 09/18/2023
With his majestic victory in La Laguna Negra, Jesus Herrada delivered the only Spanish victory of the Vuelta, and Cofidis' third in a major Tour this season. Here's a review of a special day, one of Cofidis' most historic moments.
The day after a Grand Tour is always an opportunity to take stock of three weeks of competition. At Cofidis, the aim was to win a stage and slip into the breakaway. Despite Bryan Coquard's retirement, the team stuck together right to the end. Rémy Rochas finished a respectable 28th overall, André Carvalho completed his first major Tour, Davide Cimolai took several places of honour in the sprints (4th in Iscar), Ruben Fernandez escaped three times, François Bidard played his role as team-mate to the full... And there was plenty of emotion for 37-year-old José Herrada, who was taking part in the 9th and final Vuelta of his career.
The only Spanish victory of this Vuelta
The emotion was all the greater for having experienced it with his brother. A few days earlier, on stage 11, Jesus also managed to win and shine "at home". He had already achieved this in Ares de la Maestrat in 2019 (stage 6) and in Cistierna (stage 7) last year. Jesus did it again this year, at Laguna Negra. His race management is an example of composure, experience and talent. In a very prestigious breakaway group, he was able to attack at the right moment to take the lead and live this moment of grace.
Jesus was able to share the moment with his father, who was on hand to witness the end of the stage. In doing so, the rider delivered the only Spanish victory of the Vuelta and established himself a little more firmly in the hearts of all Spanish fans. It was also a way to keep up the momentum of a decidedly magical season, less than two months after Victor Lafay and Ion Izagirre won the Tour de France.