The only time that the Ecuadorian cyclist Miryan Núñez participated in the Road World Championship was in 2015, in Richmond, in the state of Virginia in the United States. She was just 21 years old. Eight years later, she is excited about the rainbow jersey.
It has been a demanding first semester of 2023, but the best in terms of performance for Miryam Núñez. Between February 11 and May 31, she covered 2 447 kilometers in 25 days of competition, with the Massi – Tactic Women Team, from Spain.
She rode three one-week races, three one-day races, the national road and time trial championships, the Pan American road and time trial, and the Vuelta a España.
The 2 447 kilometers traveled on roads in Spain, Italy, Panama and Ecuador are greater than the 1 602 kilometers that she pedaled in 2022 and the 1 207 kilometers in 2021.
Her team has already sent her the race calendar for the second semester. She wants to go to the Giro della Toscana and the Tour of Portugal, to continue printing her cadence and style when pedaling.
In her evaluation, it has been a very competitive semester. She has worked as a gregarious on most occasions, but her warrior spirit allowed her to win the prize for combativeness in a stage of Itzulia, in Spain.
How does she evaluate this first semester where she covered more than 2 400 kilometers in competition?
It has been super good, it has allowed me to experience sensations that I had not felt before. Every day and every competition have been a learning experience. In cycling, there are good days, there are bad days, but you learn from everything.
Of the seven races she did in Europe, was the Tour of Spain the most difficult?
It was twice as hard compared to the previous year. The team gave me the opportunity to be there and finish the seven stages. It was a unique feeling because I was with the best in the world. We raced against the World Tour teams.
What differences do you find in the women’s peloton between America and Europe?
The pace of the race is very different. The competitive level in Europe is getting stronger, with average speeds that we have not achieved in Latin America. In the Vuelta a España I achieved an average speed of 35 kilometers per hour with 1 200 meters of unevenness. In Itzulia it was almost the same, with 2 000 meters of unevenness. Racing in Europe, with the best, also makes you go beyond what you thought you could perform.
How do they see Latin American cycling in Europe and especially the South American?
At the races where I go there are always Colombian, Venezuelan, Cuban cyclists. I hope and aspire, in the future, to have a compatriot racing in Europe.
In such competitive scenarios, how did she manage to win a combativeness award in Itzulia?
The key was to take risks, attack, try to escape. We had a meeting with the team, with the director and we knew that it was very difficult to fight for a stage or fight for positions in the general classification with World Tour riders. Getting on the podium and receiving that award in the midst of cyclists with extensive experience was unique. I really can’t explain how it feels to be there. That feeds and motivates to continue working and improving.
How is your career schedule for the second semester?
The team has sent me the races for August, September and October. I don’t know yet which ones I’m going to run in, but surely at the end of this month the director will tell me which races I’m going to. I hope to be in the Giro de la Toscana, it would be my third year if the team summons me. Then there is the Tour of Portugal. I would like to be in all of them.
Will he contest the Vuelta in Colombia, or in Guatemala, where he has done very well?
Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend the Tour of Colombia (which he won in 2020). I would really like to, but the only option to run these laps in Latin America is with the national team. If the Ecuadorian Cycling Federation, at some point, bets on women, we could go to the Tour of Colombia, to the one in Costa Rica or Guatemala, it would be excellent. Coming from Spain with my team is very expensive.
Is the Tour of Ecuador not on your agenda?
I don’t know what the second semester of the year will be like in Spain, I go day by day. If I find myself in the country and in the conditions, I will do it. For me, running at home is something unique, great. The year before I was able to have my parents with me, it is something that motivates me. Getting off the bike and seeing my parents there is something priceless.
Will you go to the World Cup and the Pan American Games, the events of the highest international hierarchy?
We are managing the documents to go to the World Championship. I am excited because it has been several years since I have been able to go. I don’t know about the Pan American Games in Santiago de Chile, we will have to see if there are places.
How long has it been since you competed in the Road World Championship?
Since 2015. I had the opportunity to go when I went from the Youth to the Elite category. It was not a very nice experience because there was a lot of difference between those who had just climbed a category and those with experience. Today I think I can have a good race with the maturity I have. It’s a one-day race, where a lot of things are at stake.
Qualifying for the Olympic Games is complicated for you because of the points that each country must accumulate in the ranking. How is your situation?
We are struggling, there are many races to score points, but unfortunately I am the only Ecuadorian who runs these tests. I have been trying for four years and I will continue working so that, at some point, I can achieve the goal.
A year ago you returned to running after the accident that could have cost you your life. How has this comeback been?
Quite complex. I did speed up the process of getting back on the bike a bit after the accident, where I was fighting for my life. Sometimes my preparation is very good, but on the subject of health, it has been a bit complex. God is with me, my parents are my fundamental pillar. We keep getting stronger day by day.
Source: Marta Córdova, www.primicias.ec