Panama City.- The road test for juniors, in the men’s sector, classified as one of the most exciting competitions of the Pan American Cycling Championship, as it had a bit of everything: leaks, jerks, strenuous route and a final decided by photofinish , in which the Ecuadorian Kevin Navas hung the gold, escorted by the Colombian Juan David Urán and the Cuban Carlos Daniel Montes de Oca.
The 115.2-kilometer route through the Corredor del Norte was started by 41 riders, but only 29 were able to finish the segment, with the best happiness for the three medalists, who were the protagonists of a breakaway from the second lap of the 12.6-mile circuit. kilometres, which first resulted from eight runners and ended up being six, who fought at the finish line to crown so much effort.
The escape of the day was led by Juan David Urián (Colombia), Mateo Pablo Ramírez (Ecuador), Kevin Navas Paredes (Ecuador), Adair Ibarra (Mexico), Marcelo Fabian Garza (Mexico), Rodrigo Gabriel Alonso (Dominican Republic), Ignacio Labrin ( Chile) and Carlos Montes de Oca (Cuba), but at the height of the last two laps the small peloton lost the Dominican and one of the Mexicans, due to the intense pace imposed by the virtual winners.
It is also fair to highlight that with two laps remaining to go, the Colombian Johan Steven Rubio jumped out of the peloton and hunted down the fugitives, while shortly after the Uruguayan Ciro Pérez also reached the lead less than a kilometer from the arrival
Navas won the duel against Juan David Urán and gave his country the first title in this Pan-American event, just like the Cuban Montes de Oca with his bronze. By the way, the closest dispute occurred precisely to define second and third, since barely one centimeter of the front tire of the South American entered first than that of the Antillean, who was debuting at the international level and returned home with an important medal.
“It was a hard test, with air, sun and a lot of humidity. Perhaps that is why many runners could not finish. I am happy to have given my country the first medal and hopefully more will come in the remaining two days,” said Navas, an admirer of his compatriot Richard Carapaz, Tokyo 2021 Olympic champion.
“It was a beautiful, hard and fast competition, we gave everything and in the end we were left with a silver medal. We looked for the gold, but in the final packaging we lost the duel with the Ecuadorian. My most sincere congratulations to him, he is a great runner. We got on the podium, which is the important thing and all this will serve as a lesson for the future”, highlighted Juan David Urán, once the test was over.
“Many did not trust me for being a rookie in these fights and being my first international competition, but I trusted in the potential that I had and in the previous preparation,” said the Cuban Montes de Oca, one of those who left the most pleasant impression for future contracts abroad. The Colombian delegation dominates the contest after the golds of Angie Londoño, Juliana Londoño and Robinson Rincón in the youth category and Walter Vargas in the individual time trial among the elite.
On the morning of this Saturday, the turn is for the elite ladies, who will measure forces on a 102.4-kilometer route. For their part, the men in the under-23 category will also be in action with a 153.6-kilometer route.