The Balearic takes control of the Giro de la Emilia after beating the Slovenian cyclist in a one-on-one
Like a classic hero, Enric Mas (Movistar) closed this Saturday the circle of rise, fall and redemption that has made him star in a season that he will not forget in his life. After hitting rock bottom in the Tour, where he abandoned out of fear, the Mallorcan recovered in the Vuelta and this Saturday he culminated his revival by defeating Tadej Pogacar (UAE) in a one-on-one at the Giro de la Emilia.
Mas forged his victory on the final climb to San Luca, a sanctuary above the city of Bologna reached through a portico with 666 arches. He did not impress the Balearic with the reference to the Apocalypse, quite the opposite. He premiered his record of the season and achieved his sixth victory as a professional, while Valverde was fourth.
Two accelerations allowed Mas to leave first in the group of favorites along with Pogacar, later joined by Pozzovivo (Intermarché), Urán (EF) and Valverde. But he had not won since April 16 of last year, when he scored a stage of the Vuelta a la Comunitat Valenciana. «I have done a few good practices after the Vuelta and I knew that I would arrive well. In the Coppa Agostoni I was very cold and I couldn’t give my best. Alejandro was there, he fought until the end, and this time I was able to finish off. Everyone knows who Tadej Pogacar is; for me it is a great satisfaction to have won in an attack in which he was », he declared.
The Balearic acknowledges that “it has been a difficult year, because at the beginning of the season I had quite a few crashes and mistrust came over me. Luckily, after the Tour we did a good ‘reset’, and now, here we are, quite well and with a lot of confidence».
He will end his season on Sunday, at the Giro de Lombardía, the fifth and last monument of the season: «Lombardy is 60 more kilometers and we know that Alejandro is very good at these types of classics. I was able to get the victory and now the Tres Valles Varesinos (Tuesday) and other classics are coming, where we hope to be able to fight as well. Then Lombardy will come, which will be the great objective of this season finale.
Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo), meanwhile, won the queen stage of the Tour of Croatia this Saturday and is the new leader. The winner of the Tour beat Oscar Onley (of the DSM subsidiary) in the sprint on a cobbled slope. Jonathan Lastra (Caja Rural) was tenth.