Congratulations to Amaël Moinard. I blogged only last week how Moinard is an intelligent rider who knows how to train and race smart and sure enough he won the final stage of Paris-Nice under the palm trees of the Boulevard des Anglais.
His win is a demonstration of what I was trying to explain. Yesterday he went with Thomas Voeckler and the two worked well. Though at one point Voeckler put in a big effort on the final climb, the Col d’Eze. Moinard didn’t respond, and some thought he was cooked. Instead he just kept tapping away and came back to the Bbox rider. Moinard knows his power output and paced himself accordingly, he knew that a big acceleration to get on Voeckler’s wheel would put him into the red and that it was better to let Voeckler waste energy.
Voeckler is an exciting rider but his panache helped give Moinard an opportunity to win. As they came towards the finish line there was a headline and Moinard knew Voeckler’s style meant he would still try a long sprint so the Cofidis rider just had to wait and pip him on the line.
Training and racing solely by numbers can be boring, cycling isn’t a video game lived through the display screen of the SRM. But Moinard proved that by riding in tune with your body can help you beat a rider who only seems to race with his head.