La Vuelta a España for me is the second most important of the three grand cycling tours of the year. I have been watching the Tour de France for many years and it has defined the start of the summer proper, while the Vuelta has come to mark the end of the season. I have never been that excited by the Giro though now that I have more time on my hands I could give it a go.
Compared to the Tour, the Vuelta seems more intense, more harsh and at times even more cruel. The intense heat in Spain and the severe climbs that the raiders are expected to race up can be sadistic. I get tired just watching from my reclining armchair.
This year has been interesting. Team Sky got into the leader’s jersey very early in the race yet I wanted instead to talk about the rider who won stage 7 from Llíria to the World Heritage town of Cuenca, Matej Mohoric. He is a young rider who is expected to play a big role in the grand tours over the coming years.
What interested me was his post race interview. It is normal for riders to thank their team mates for getting them across the line but Mohoric went further.
‘The last 2 years I have been in this team in Lampre, now UAE Team Emirates, so I would like to thank them for that. It has been, I have had a great time. They have given me plenty of opportunities to grow and develop myself and this stage victory is foremost for them. They have taken great care of me and I couldn’t thank them in a better way.’ It is not often that a sportsperson describes the role that the team has played in making them what they are. Opportunity and care are what all employees need.
The interviewer went on to say that some of his colleagues in his former team said that he was too clever to be a professional cyclist. He laughed and replied: ‘Yes, some people describe me as clever. Sometimes I think I think too much, I calculate too much and I worry too much about things and don’t rely enough on my emotions. Today I just went full gas in the final and it worked out pretty well so maybe I should think less sometimes.’
Again it was refreshing to hear a sportsperson talk about their emotional engagement in what they do rather than their natural talent or effort. I have often been told that I think too much. Sometimes it is better not to overthink and instead go with the flow.
Mohoric is one to watch for the future.