Chava honoured in El Barraco

Former mountains great José Maria 'Chava' Jimenez was honoured in his home town of El Barraco this w

Former mountains great José Maria 'Chava' Jimenez was honoured in his home town of El Barraco this w

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Jos Maria 'Chava' Jimenez's home town of El Barraco has paid tribute to the former Banesto rider who died in December 2003 by unveiling a sculpture in his honour and naming a street after him.

The small town in central Spain just south of the historic city of Avila has renamed the former Camino de las Navas where Jimenez lived during the last years of his life Calle Jos Maria Jimenez 'Chava'. A four-metre-high sculpture created by Jimenez's brother Juan Carlos was also unveiled. This stands on a roundabout at the end of the street.

"I've put everything I've got into this work and it has reduced me tears," Juan Carlos Jimenez told AS. "I hope that from now on when someone sees the statue that they will remember the many great moments my brother gave us. And that we forget the bad ones."

Juan Carlos was joined by his mother, Antonia, and sister, Piedad, who is married to CSC's Carlos Sastre, who was also at the ceremony. Also among the 500 people who attended were former team-mate Paco Mancebo, Spanish cycling legend Julio Jimenez, Liberty Seguros team manager Pablo Anton, Jimenez's former team manager at Banesto Jos Miguel Echavarri and a number of other current and former riders.

Jimenez, who won the Vuelta's King of the Mountains title three times, took 28 victories during his career, no less than 21 of them at summit finishes.

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