"We will protect Enric Mas until the mountain arrives"

Deceuninck was one second away from taking the stage win in Brussels. They are focused on hunting stages, but they trust Spanish for the mountain.

Despite the Deceuninck opted for the anarchic and spectacular Julian Alaphilippe and a powerful train to clothe Elia Viviani in the sprints, seven companions of Enric Mas are aware that they must protect him in this first week of the Tour. This was confirmed by Maxi Richeze, pitcher of Viviani: "We pushed hard in the team chrono so that Enric did not give up and even take differences from his rivals. We did it. We consider him our strong man for the general. Although we prioritize other missions, like working for Viviani, we do not forget him and we will tuck him up until the mountain arrives ".

Patrick Lefevere, the boss of the Belgian squad, trusts the Balearic:" This is a waking boy, who he learns very fast and he does not need all the attention to develop his talent. Maybe he will not have a block for him, but he is in the ideal place to overcome the first ten days of competition. Then, his forces will decide how far he reaches in these 21 stages. I hope it ends in the top-five or top-three. " His forecast also linked him to a hypothetical Mas renewal, because he ends the contract at the end of this course: "Enric wants the salary of a top-five in the Tour, without having finished before in the top-five of the Tour. We do not know what will happen to his future. " The Movistar has him in his sights, with a pre-contract prepared for the next three seasons.

Mas does not talk about what will happen after 2020. It is simply focused on the French round: "I park that until after the Tour" . On the race, the Brussels time trial has left him in a privileged position to aspire to the yellow jersey in La Planche des Belles Filles: " We have a magnificent day. A pity that we did not win against the Belgian public. Of course, facing the classification we took a good income on some dangerous adversaries ". Artà, at 24 years old, feels comfortable in his debut: "I feel good, in my environment. I even expected more tension, although the thing has only just begun. " Time will tell if there is a cyclist for the Tour. At the moment it seems.

Photos from as.com
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