Little loot for Spain

Mikel Landa and Enric Mas finished fourth and fifth on the Tour, Movistar took the team overall and there has not been a stage victory since 2018.

Little-loot-for-Spain

The Spanish peloton finished the 2020 Tour with two men in the top ten, Mikel Landa (fourth) and Enric Mas (fifth), with Movistar dominating the team classification and without any partial triumph. The last national cyclist who raised his arms in the French round was Omar Fraile, in Mende, in the 2018 edition. Alejandro Valverde left the top-ten in the time-trial of La Planche des Belles Filles and finished (at 40 years of age) the 12th and as third best Spanish, which shows the lack of current relief.

Since 2017, Landa (out of 30) has finished as the first national runner. In that season he was a second behind Romain Bardet's third place; in 2018 (seventh) and 2019 (sixth) he could not fight for the Paris box; and in 2020, and despite equaling his best record, fourth, he was also far from the fight for the podium. Richie Porte, third, got 2:28. The fans hunted him down, in the mountains he could not go up and he usually entered a second group: "I am happy, I did what my strength allowed me to". The Spaniard had the confidence of Bahrain as the only leader, but has not yet managed to establish a face to face with the contenders for the title. Yes, Rod Ellingworth, the performance manager of his squad, trusts him: “Mikel tested his hunger and quality. I am satisfied with what has been done, it was a new group that worked very well, even though no victories or a place of honor were finished or achieved ”.

Mas assured in the previous one that he was satisfied "with a top-ten or a top-15" after a bad debut in 2019 (22nd). Finally he finished fifth, “the most ambitious goal” that Movistar had discussed: “This position leads me to feel very proud of my performance. I went little by little, with the support of a wonderful group, which gave me confidence and the security to gain more experience and weight to become a good leader ”. The problem: that he is 25 years old and generation opponents like Egan Bernal (23) or Tadej Pogacar (turns 22 this Monday) already boast of a Tour in his record.

Meanwhile, the telephone structure added its seventh overall team, the third in a row. Others scoff, but Movistar is always interested in this classification. “We show our commitment to the Tour with each of our guys. It consists of honoring the brand and the career. We consider it an award for everyone's work, cyclists, technicians and assistants ”, says the manager, Eusebio Unzué. Carlos Verona (19th) and Marc Soler (21st) looked for the breaks, without luck. A scant booty for a historic formation and nation in their sport.



Photos from as.com
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