A quick post to point out that Samuel Dumoulin won in the Volta Catalunya today. He’d already won twice but this time last year the Cofidis rider was the most prolific winner in the bunch. He admitted that he rushed things last year, peaking early in the season and not carrying it through after April.
I like him for his victory salutes, they always seem to say “well who else did you expect to win?”. Interestingly he’s often using a compact chainset. Working with his SRM and team coach Vincent Villerius it became apparently that he works better with smaller gears during the majority of a race but with a 50T chainring and an 11T that’s still a bigger gear than 53×12 and if the stage is flat Dumoulin uses a 52.
Another point to note is José Joaquin Rojas’ second place. He’s had four top-three places in this race alone, plus three more of these as well as one win. Movistar can’t buy a win this season. They have some talented riders but last year they relied on three riders to bring in most of the wins: Alejandro Valverde, Alberto Rui Costa and Luis Leon Sanchez. With Valverde and Rui Costa banned, plus Luis Leon Sanchez going Dutch, wins are even harder to come by. I’ve got a feeling Beñat Intxausti could deliver some good wins this year but that remains to be seen.
Whilst Spanish cycling typically comes alive with the warmer weather and hillier roads I do wonder if sponsors get frustrated. Maybe they’ll think about hiring a sprinter? Maybe Dumoulin might want to learn Spanish?