This was where the Multivan-Merida rider became World Champion 6 years ago. It is a course where he has always done well and that has always taken all his potential because, as he says "this is pure mountain bike".
Today's race was his most consistent competition of the last 12 months: "I felt very strong, with a lot gas in the climbs. When I was facing a tough section, I would stand out of the saddle and push really hard. All the hard work done in the last two months was visible in the World Championships and it was there again today. I am very happy and with the confidence to see that we're doing things in the right direction".
José has started n the top 20 and has remained there during the first minutes of the race, although "we were all very close together and we had to walk in some of the first climbs. But I'm happy with how I managed that initial effort" .
From there, the Catalan rider has been passing riders performing a very similar pace a the leaders, just a few seconds away from a podium where he has been so many times in this venue. "I've tried to get on the podium, but I've been just a few seconds away from it. The pace was good and my ambition too, but it has not been possible. Still, the 6th spot is a result that gives me peace and confidence that we are doing things right. Now we face a very hard week of training before a few days of assimilation prior to the competition at the Olympic Games", Hermida commented.
In 15 days Jose faces a new challenge, his fifth Olympics, a race in which he has won a silver medal, finished fourth twice and also got a 10th place. 20 years of Olympic competition without being out of the top ten. In Rio de Janeiro he will give it all to continue on that line.