“Everybody is expecting you in that final descent,” an interviewer told Matej Mohorič before the start of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana’s second stage.
“No pressure, eh?” Mohorič replied. Four hours later, he was doing what everyone expected him to do, dive-bombing the high-speed descent off of a third-category climb and holding on to win solo in La Valldigna for his first victory of 2024.
It actually marked the second time in as many days that he used his descending skills in an attempt to win a Valenciana stage after he zoomed down the final descent of stage 1 en route to finishing seventh on the day.
On Thursday’s stage 2, however, nobody else would finish ahead of him, even if everyone knew exactly what was coming when he shot off the front inside the last 10 km. As usual, he flew through corners at speeds no one else could match and then held on to win.
Mere mortals might make these descents with white knuckles holding onto the bars, but after his win, Mohorič made it sound like he didn’t think his ride was especially daring.
“I didn’t risk to lose control of the bike or slip out because some corners were pretty tricky,” he said. “The road was a little bit wet still because it was not so warm, but I think I did a nice descent. Fast but not crazy.”
Just what qualifies as “fast but not crazy” is entirely in the eye of the beholder, of course. In any case, Mohorič has once again shown the world that his downhill prowess should not be underestimated and can’t be overstated – and his bigger targets are looming. Milan-Sanremo is just over six weeks away!
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