Patxi Peula: “very happy with the gold medal in the team sprint”

Patxi Peula skated a good European Championship, the victory in the marathon went to Bart Swings, but he took 2nd place. He also recieved his gold medal for the elimination race after the final marathon in Oostende. We talked to him about this tournament…

The Marathon 

How did the marathon go? “I knew the marathon would be hard, because I raced here at Euros 2009 and at Worlds 2015. Belgium, France and the Netherlands have a lot of people in the team, for Spain we were only with two.  And it’s the last race,  I was tired when I woke up.”

Bart Swings did only the marathon at Euros, he was fresh at the start today.

“Bart is very strong in the marathon, but in the beginning of the race in the first attack I stayed with Bart, sometimes I say I’m not going to do anything in the marathon, but then I start and I’m going full.”

In the end there was a breakaway with Bart Swings, Crispijn Ariëns, Quentin Giraudeau, Patxi and his teammate David Morell. Patxi: “I decided not to do too much work, because my tactic was to win, we were with two skaters from Spain. Sometimes I relay and sometimes I did my tactic.”

Did it work? “This year in Steenwijk I skated the marathon, with Gary Hekman also, they know I am faster in the sprint so they tried to kill me the last laps. In the last lap Bart went to breakaway, I waited too long with Crispijn and then it was too late to catch Bart. But I’m happy for Bart because he’s very strong in the marathon, I raced with him in the last four years in Berlijn, in Steenwijk in the European Championship, and here. It’s five marathons in not so many years.”

“I’m very happy with this podium because ten years ago in the European Championships points/elimination race we had the same podium. Bart, Crispijn and me. Ten years later the same people on the podium is nice, it’s interesting I think.”

 

 

 

 

 

Picture from Oostende 2009: Copyright © JMC Roller Sisters – Photo : Gilbert Pouydebat

 

Road elimination race 

Patxi still has the gold medal from the eliminiation race around his neck during the interview. The ceremony was postponed because of the DQ for Martin Ferry.

“I needed to wait for the podium, but it’s worth it. In the end the French guy was disqualified, I asked why because yesterday it was a surprise for me. There were 7 people in the last laps, everybody had a warning. The French guy had two already and with two laps to go there was a crash and he got another warning, the communication was not fast enough between the judges, so they had to check the video.”

It’s a little wrong to tell it so late, but it’s the rules. We have to race clean. I think two warnings is enough to stay  quiet in the group.”

 

 

 

 

Are you happy with your tournament? “Yes, in the track I start with my favorite race (points/elimination), it’s not the best result, but I got better. In the 1000 meter I  made the final and went from 8th place to 2nd, then Simon Albrecht hurt his leg, he stopped and all the people passed me, so I had back luck.”

“I was very happy to take a gold medal with Ioseba in the team sprint because a lot of years we are together in the Spanish team and we never had a gold medal in relay together. We have a lot of titles in long distance and sprint, but never in relay.”

Did you like the new 500 meter team spint? “Yeah, I think it’s exciting for the people to watch this one. It’s interesting because you need to do it perfect, it’s only 2,5 laps.”

 

 

End of the season now?

On Wednesday there was 20 K, the marathon today 42 K, three days ago 10 K … “It was a very hard intensity”

And tomorrow? “Tomorrow rest! But I have some marathons in Berlin and Pamplona, some races in Spain. So my calendar is full now. I rest this week a little bit. I have a trainingcamp in Castillion now, for kids four days, then I race on the weekend, than Pamplona marathon, Berlin Marathon, the national marathon championship, one national league. I have some races until I finish the year.”

You also did trainingcamps with Chinese kids …”The last three years I’m going three times a year, to teach the Spanish or European style more or less. They have quality but in Spain we don’t have much help like this one, I need to find other options for the future. They are very good with me, so I go to teach the kids. I think in November I will go again.”

 

Pictures: Hidde Muije

 

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