26 Jul 2017
The Spaniard is currently the world’s most recognised off-road triathlete with six world titles (three XTERRA and three ITU) and never ever having stepped off a podium of this discipline. With a fourth XTERRA World Championship he would equal the history’s record.
Professional mountain biker until 2013, you won several national championships and were within the world’s ten best several times, what do you feel returning to a MTB race?
I’m really looking forward to it because it keeps me connected to the MTB community. Last year I raced La Rioja Bike Race presented by Shimano and had a great time. I enjoyed the landscapes, had fun on the track and loved to meet so much people with the same passion.
To compete in a three day race is really good for my preparation for the XTERRA World Championship and hence I registered as soon as I knew about GAES Catalunya Bike Race presented by Shimano.
How does it change to face the MTB segment in a hard off-road triathlon against a mountain biking race?
For GAES Catalunya Bike Race presented by Shimano I’ll have to focus on getting more stamina on the bicycle. I’m not used now to be so many hours on my bicycle neither during three days. Nevertheless, it will be very good for my preparation because we’ll always ride at a high pace.
After a very successful years, how’s this 2017 going?
Very well. I’m happy because I’ve won all the races I have entered at the beginning of the year, except for one in which I finished second. I’ve improved my swimming and running, and this gives me tranqulity to continue improving on what I’m best at, which is mountain biking.
What are your goals?
I have four main challenges remaining this 2017, in August the ITU Cross Triathlon World Championship and the XTERRA World Championship in October. This is why GAES Catalunya Bike Race presented by Shimano fits so well, it’s in between and will serve me both to clear my mind and to get ready for the last championship.
Besides, I think about winning the XTERRA European Tour, of which I have two races left, and the XTERRA European Championship. These would complete the four main goals.
How do you expect GAES Catalunya Bike Race presented by Shimano to be?
For sure the ambience is really good and exciting. I love the feeling before the first stage, when all the mountain bikers are nervous to begin and discover the route and the land where they are going to be pedalling for hours during the next three days.
I believe they will be hard stages, with lots of singletrack and technical parts. At the end of the day what we like is to have fun on the bicycle and I’m sure it’s going to be like that.
Will you arrive to Bellver de Cerdanya with a specific goal?
Although I consider this race as part of my training, I’m competitive and will try to do my best possible GAES Catalunya Bike Race presented by Shimano, and be within the best twenty ranked. I don’t think I’ll be able to be Top-10 but without a doubt, my aim is to be in front.
With all your competition experience you have, what advice would you give to someone who does a race like GAES Catalunya Bike Race presented by Shimano for the first time?
First of all, and most important, is to have a good time and enjoy it. You manage this having the bicycle well prepared and all the necessary equipment. It’s also very important to set a proper pace on each stage and know your body. It’s not fun to reach the end of the stages exhausted and empty because then it’s when you suffer and don’t keep a good memory. If your equipment is up to date, you know your limits and forget the classification and focus on having a great time, meet people and enjoy the route, you won’t forget this weekend!
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