February 26, 2021

Enric Mas, the Spanish cyclist who will be favorite to win the Tour de France in the coming years


The time runs fast for the advantaged students. In the lunch of the day before the Innsbruck World Cup won by Alejandro Valverde, Enric Mas became the unexpected protagonist of the talk that the eight runners of the Spanish team had already advanced the desserts, almost ready to get up from the table on the way to nap. "Look if you're older," said Omar Fraile to Valverde, "than this one," and pointed to Enric Mas, "this one ran in children's clubs when you got your first World Cup medal! Then he went to the team of another cyclist with whom you have measured and now he is your rival and teammate. "

The summary of a brilliant career that augurs a hopeful future. "That" another cyclist who reminded him of Friar Valverde was none other than Contador. The idol of Enric. Thanks to him he is a cyclist. In every sense. It was the summer of 2007 in Artà. Sun, beach and many tourists. Enric was only 12 years old. One of those hot evenings sat on the couch at home and turned on the television. Then the bicycles appeared, the mountains, the crowd filling the gutters, the endless color. And he was forever captivated "by Alberto Contador," he says.

That was the first Tour that el pinteño won and the one that ignited the dream of Enric Mas. Since then he had clear that he wanted to be like him. On that road is. Because that gala round, Contador conquered it with 24 years, just the same as now has Enric, the boy who became a cyclist dreaming of being this way of attacker, so brave and brave. So overwhelming. For that reason, he had no doubts when he was recruited for the team that created Madrid. Something they saw in him.

The legs do not cheat. This is how Enric fulfilled the first part of his dream. With the jersey of the squad of his idol, at his side and as the great protege ran three seasons. They wanted to keep him one or two more years, waiting to make the leap to professionalism as a block but Enric did not want to wait. He ventured to travel to Belgium, to Klein Constantia, the subsidiary of the all-powerful Quick Step. In just one year Patrick Lefevere saved him a number on his World Tour team. The legs do not cheat.

The first part of its emergence came two years ago, on the last day of Contador as a cyclist when it was imposed in the rain in the Angliru. The last relays before the ascension were given by Marc Soler. And Enric Mas. When Contador managed to dry the tears of emotion he said it. He was leaving but the future of Spanish cycling was assured. «My heir is Enric Mas». A gift. Poisoned Luckily, Enric is one of those cyclists who, despite their youth or inexperience, pressure acts as a motivating spur. And that, far from pressing him, emboldened him.

The test was the last Vuelta. After his first triumph as a professional at the top of Arrate during the Itzulia, "my most special victory" came to the Vuelta, won the penultimate stage at Col de la Gallina and finished second behind Simon Yates. Now it is released in this Tour by the hand of a Deceuninck more focused on winning stages than on auparle to everything its potential augurs from him. "I come to learn but I will not stop thinking about the general," he says. «I would sign finish in the top ten. I get better than last year to the Vuelta. I come for all ». Garra does not lack. In that it is also a copy of his idol.

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