"Indurain is better to have as a partner than as a rival"

Melcior Mauri will act as director and route captain of the KH7-Logifrio team in the 15th Titan Desert, which has been held in Almería from the 2nd. Indurain, one of his teammates.


25 years ago they were fierce rivals (sportingly speaking) in the Tour de France. Miguel, on the way to his fifth victory in the gala round, spent one of his worst days in Mende's memorable stage because of Melcior (he finished sixth overall) and the work of the ONCE team. “She was very aggressive sportingly speaking. Manolo Sainz was directing us to attack. Ahead we escaped Stephens, Jalabert and I. In relays we tried to make the greatest possible difference. It was the stage in which the Banesto team suffered the most and Jalabert became a virtual leader ”, recalls Mauri. A spectacular stage, with a tremendous triumph for Jalabert (titan, by the way) in which Indurain ended up saving the furniture.

One of the few who beat Indurain

In 2021, it will be 30 years since the Vuelta that Mauri won, precisely against an Indurain who that year would conquer his first Tour. “That victory was a before and after in my career, with just 25 years of age. When I look at the photo of the podium with Indurain and Marino Lejarreta, I give it even more value ”. What people may not remember so much is that they were partners in 1994, at Banesto. And the Catalan helped him win his fourth Tour. "A strong friendship emerged, which continues to endure." They had previously been teammates at Reynolds, between 1987 and 1989, at the dawn of their careers. “It is better to have a runner like Miguel as a partner than as a rival” .

Persistently convinced him to make the Titan

He had a hard time convincing his friend to come to the Titan Desert. And it is that the Navarrese legend continues to love cycling, but it is difficult for him to take part in tests of several days. Mauri had asked him half a dozen times in previous editions, but had always gotten a negative response. However, something changed for this year. “I told you something on Monday, he answered me… and I said to myself: Oysters, maybe this year it is encouraged!”

But on Monday and Tuesday Mauri's phone didn't ring, so he decided to call him. And he received an even better response than he expected: “I am encouraged, but I will come with my son Miguel, he told me. Then I got excited and my hair stood on end at the thought that the two of them will come with me and my team. It was very rewarding on a personal level. I remember it with great emotion. ”

Miguel does, above all, road. With a mountain bike he goes less, "but since he decided to go to the Titan he has ridden more." He does not like the technical part and enjoys more on cycle tracks and trails. “He does not have the technique because he neither practices it nor does he feel like it. He asks me: isn't that very technical? And it reassures him when he replies that the Titan is more than rolling. "Those most used to the road benefit because there are not such technical descents." His advice will be very valid in his baptism as a Titan. "I have done a master's degree in navigation thinking about Morocco, although in Almería there will be none" .

Commanding the powerful Kh7 Logifrio

Mauri goes to Almería with the KH / Logifrio team, which will arrive with more than 40 components including cyclists and staff. In addition to pedaling, he takes care of a multitude of things: control, logistics, clothing… But what he likes the most is preparing the stages and having the riders carry it out. “It is a great personal satisfaction when the experience ends well. And if they can't finish, let them be aware that they have given their best and that they have lived the experience to the best of their ability. ”

Your team gathers different profiles and levels. There are cyclists who are going to win the race like Josep Betalú (winner of the last four editions), Sylvain Chavanel (record of participations in the Tour: 18), Oriol Colomer, Sergi Escobar, Iván Díaz. And then there are the runners who are going to finish the race and enjoy it. “This is where my advice comes in to help you achieve your goal. I establish strategies to help them. And for those who want to finish, I advise them to control their energies, how to recover well at the refreshment station, find their group, control the time to get control, recover between stage and stage… ”.

The teams are made up of three riders and the most powerful trio that Mauri will line up is made up of the aforementioned Betalú, Díaz and Colomer. Among the girls, Silvia Roura stands out, looking for the podium after her triumph in the Titan Series Saudi Arabia 2020. Miguel Indurain will form a team with his son Miguel (former runner in lower categories) and Melcior himself. Although it is not ruled out that he ends up giving up his position to the brother-in-law of the five-time Tour champion, Carmelo, who is the brother of his wife Marisa.

"We must take advantage of this opportunity in a damn year"

Mauri has raced the Titan Desert ten times and been on the podium twice (champion in 2007 and 3rd in 2009). Therefore, he is one of the most authorized people to speak of a test that has evolved a lot, especially “technologically and at the level of the runners”. Despite the fact that there will be no dunes or sand like in Morocco, “I'm excited about the change. I want to see other places, such as Cabo de Gata and the Tabernas desert. I have high expectations with this new Titan and it motivates me. Many of us who repeat see it as something new. ”

Finally, send a message to cyclists who want to wear a doral and are considering participating in the 15th Titan Desert. “I would tell them to take this opportunity. They have the chance to experience a damned year in which tons of events and tests have been suppressed. I encourage you to sign up. ”

Photos from as.com
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