No “mental block”: Mas impressed at the Vuelta

“Evenepoel looks invincible now”

The best Spaniard in the Vuelta so far: Enric Mas (Movistar) | Photo: Cor Vos

08/29/2022 | (rsn) – After last year’s collapse, when the Spaniard failed to win a single stage at the Vuelta, the current 77 home race is much better for the rider from the Iberian Peninsula. On the second day of rest, Marc Soler (UAE Emirates Team) and Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) already have two successes, and last year’s second runner-up Enric Mas (Movistar) is behind the outstanding Vuelta debutant Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl. ) Second place overall “best often rest”.


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Most importantly, the Mallorcan’s strong performance was not expected after his disappointing Tour de France. Movistar team manager Eusebio, not known for criticizing his drivers, recently questioned whether it was a good idea for Mas to compete in the Tour of Spain.

“I don’t know if it’s good to go to the Vuelta a Espana now, but I also know that Enric never considered starting,” said Unzue, who honored his driver, in the Grand Tour to fill the role of captain. Speaking to the Spanish newspaper El Pais.

Mas unrecognizable compared to tourism

After the first 9 stages, Unzue, who said that Mas had a “mental block”, would be happy to reconsider his cruel judgment. Although the 27-year-old compares clearly 1: 12 minutes behind the Belgian high pilot in the red shirt, the improvement of the performance of the Vuelta twice compared to the Tour of France he left before the 19th. The eleventh stage together with the positive corona test must, unmistakable.

Back then, the best result of the day was the seventh place of the Planche des Belles Filles, but Mas achieved two third places and one sixth, and he was the only rider on the mountain to be able to maintain two times. Outstanding Evenepoel.

In the ninth stage, however, the Movistar captain still had to pass when the sovereign leader pulled away from the final climb to Les Praeres, which was up to 24 percent. He later admitted to the press that trying to grab Evenepoel’s rear wheel may have been a mistake. “I was riding too hard to follow Remco and I think it would be better if I rode my own pace”, said Mas, adding with a smile, “I will remember that next time.”

Three Spaniards in the top 5 – Mas happy for Spanish cycling

How it will help, however, seems uncertain, at least according to the current situation, as he freely admits: “At the moment he seems invincible,” but on Sunday, he added: “This match has lasted three weeks. Today he is stronger than me, but I can say that from the first stage here I watch from day to day.” Mas also identified his greater experience as a possible deciding factor compared to the five-year Vuelta novice. “The Vuelta is very long and that may be an advantage,” said the Tour expert, who is competing in his ninth three-week national tour, while Evenepoel has only participated in one Giro – which ended prematurely.

The same applies to the two young Spaniards Oscar Rodriguez (Ineos Grenadiers) and Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates), who are still hoping for fourth and fifth place in the overall ranking. Both the 21-year-old Rodriguez, who became the Spanish champion this year, and Ayuso, who is two years younger – the youngest Vuelta starter, by the way – are also Grand Tour debutants and the big surprise of the first week – which Mas smiled.

“I am very happy for them, it reminds me of my second place in 2018,” he praised his young compatriot, who now offers to impress the gap left by the retirement of Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) at the end of the season. will quickly be able to close. “It’s good to see that Spanish cycling is growing again,” Mas said optimistically.

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