For Matej Mohoric, who had one previous professional victory to his name, stage seven at the Vuelta a Espana was an opportunity he was determined to seize.
The UAE Team Emirates rider initially found himself part of the 14-man breakaway in today’s race, before separating on the climb and then creating insurmountable distance on the daredevil descent to earn the stage win.
It was a course that played to the 22-year-old Slovenian’s strengths and Mohoric wasn’t about to let the chance to shine in a Grand Tour event pass him by.
“I was only thinking about the victory and nothing else was acceptable for me today,” Mohoric, whose only other pro win came in last year’s Tour of Hainan, told Sport360°. “Anything else would have been a disappointment.”
— Matej Mohoric (@matmohoric) August 25, 2017
After getting into the breakaway – what he called the most challenging part of the stage – and keeping pace on the climb, Mohoric took over in the descent.
“I tried to anticipate the climb itself because I knew some guys in the breakaway might climb better than I do, so I was afraid of that,” Mohoric said. “I had to get to the top as quick as possible and then attack after the climb in the full flat before the descent.”
For UAE Team Emirates, Mohoric’s victory marked their second in a Grand Tour, following Jan Polanc’s triumph in stage four of this year’s Giro d’Italia back in May.
With 14 stages to go in Spain, Mohoric is optimistic of his team’s chances to strike again and further display the quality of the roster.
“I think we have more good riders here that can also win the stage,” he said. “The Vuelta is still long and we have plenty more stages yet to come that are well-suited to the characteristics of our team.”
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