Cycling families: The Herrada brothers

Jesus Herrada sandwiched between team mates Alejandro Valverde and Vladimir Karpets at Tour de Suisse 2012 (image courtesy of Movistar)

Jesus Herrada sandwiched between team mates Alejandro Valverde and Vladimir Karpets at Tour de Suisse 2012 (image courtesy of Movistar)

If you were watching the Tour de Suisse  on Wednesday, you’ll have seen Jesus Herrada riding near the front of the peloton, indulging in a spot of face-pulling, as Movistar led home the pack in the final kilometres – preserving the leader’s jersey for Rui Costa on stage 5, 192.7km  from Trimbach t0 Gansingen. At 21, Jesus is the baby of the team, which he joined last year after stellar results in the junior and espoir ranks. He’s a double national junior and U23 time-trial champion.

Meanwhile, his brother Jose – five years older – who finished fourth in last year’s Route du Sud while riding for Caja Rural, competes in this year’s race  in Movistar colours. Yes, the boys have realised a much cherished ambition to ride together on the same team.

Jose’s arrival at Movistar continues the team’s long-held tradition of recuiting brothers, such as Michael and Pruden Indurain, Julian and Ruben Gorospe, Mikel and Inigo Zarrabeitia, Herminio and Peter Diaz Zabala, Aitor and Unia Osa plus the French Portal brothers, Nicolas and Sebastien. [Plenty of fodder there for future Cycling families posts! – Ed]

The brothers, who hail from Mota del Cuervo in La Mancha, central Spain, were inspired by their father’s love of cycling and their elder brother Fernando, who still competes locally. While their careers have taken different trajectories – Jesus’s being meteroic and Jose’s one of steady progression – they’re now delighted to be able to both train and race together. I sense from interviews the boys have given, that the elder will be a calming influence on the younger one!

Jose riding in Giro d' Italia 2012 (image courtesy of Movistar)

Jose riding in Giro d’ Italia 2012 (image courtesy of Movistar)

Jose started his professional career in 2006 with  Vina Magna-Cropu– along with future teammate, and Kitty favourite, Andrey Amador – before respectively joining Contentpolis-Ampo and then pro continental squad, Caja Rural. While his performances have not perhaps been as spectacular as his kid brother’s, he has a very solid palmares with plenty of podiums and nearly 30 top-ten placings. He recently rode his first Grand Tour, the Giro d’Italia, where he finish fifth on stage 16 after being part of that day’s breakaway. Jose’s a good all-rounder, equally at home on a time-trial bike as he is in the high mountains. Expect to see him in this year’s Vuelta riding in support of Movistar’s lead rider.

Jesus joined Movistar last year and, after early season races in Spain, took part in the Tour of Flanders followed by a few of the Ardennes classics where he demonstrated his overall strength.  He finished a respectable fifth in the Spanish national time-trial championship – won by Luis Leon Sanchez and fourth in the road race won by teammate Jose Joaquin Rojas. As a result, he was one of the two Spanish riders,along with teammate Jonathon Castroviejo, selected for the ITT World Championships in Copenhagen. Later, in the GP Quebec, he animated the race by getting into the breakaway trio and winning the King of the Mountain’s classification. Less at ease than his brother in the high mountains, this is one aspect of his game that he’s looking to improve, possibly with a view to riding with his brother in this year’s Vuelta.
Jesus already has an impressive palmares, and like his brother has plenty of podiums and over 30 top-ten placings, mostly garnered in the amateur ranks where he frequently beat contemporaries such as Liquigas’s Peter Sagan. [I suspect the days of beating Sagan are coming to an end…for everyone! – Ed] He recently recorded his first professional win on stage two of this year’s Vuelta a Asturias.  I think it’s fair to say that Jesus is a promising all-round rider, who is lucky enough to have his talented older brother on the team!

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