Mohoric: “I had this stage marked from the beginning”
The Slovenian Bahrain rider thanks his team-mates for their work to put him in a position to take the final victory.
Simat de la Valldigna. 1 February 2024.
MATEJ MOHORIC (Bahrain Victorious)
“I was very focused on this stage from the beginning. It’s the one that was the best for me, together with yesterday’s stage, but on the first day there was no collaboration behind and the breakaway reached the finish. Unfortunately we lost two members of the team who were going to be fundamental in the work to catch the breakaways. We didn’t have the strength to control the race, but other teams had the same idea as us, they controlled the race, and in the end my team-mates put me in a perfect position for the victory. It was a team effort and for that I want to thank them all. In the end, I was able to set a high pace but without the need to take risks in case of a crash. I am really happy”.
“This race is my final point of preparation to be ready for the classics season. My coach jokes with me that maybe I don’t have to train so hard, but I think I’m capable of maintaining a regular level of fitness during the season. I try to make the most of every opportunity, like today, because in the end the years go by and if you miss these opportunities, they may never come back. If you are lucky enough to have a great team and great team-mates like me, you have the chance to win. In the end, the difference between victory and defeat is very small”.
“We are one of the strongest teams in the race. Our goal was to come to Valencia with a great team and show what we are capable of. I think that’s important for a team to build morale for the next races on the calendar. We are here with Pello Bilbao and Santiago Buitrago for the overall. Stage 4 is too much for me, but they have shown that they are good and can fight for the podium. But there are other very strong teams and we will have to keep them under control if we want to win”.
GORKA SORARRAIN (Caja Rural Seguros)
“Yesterday we spent a lot of money and the idea was to see if we could get some points on the first climb. But I went out, the breakaway was made almost unintentionally and, since we were there, I tried to get as many points as possible. After the second climb we saw that the peloton was on top and we decided to stop to save our strength”.
“It wasn’t the main objective to win the mountains jersey, but since we’re in this situation we’ll see how it goes. Saturday is going to be a tough day, with a fight for the overall, but we’ll go day by day and we’ll see”.
“The truth is that I started a couple of weeks ago and I’m feeling better and better. I’m happy with the way the season has started”.
SANTIAGO BUITRAGO (Bahrain Victorious)
“It was a perfect day for us. It’s a pity that we didn’t have the whole team because of the absence of two teammates. But I think Matej’s victory is a reward for the great work we did. We are very happy. We won the stage, I’m wearing white. A perfect day”.
“We are here to fight for the race. We want to do it in the best way. We’re on the right track and, whether it’s with me, Pello or even Matej, we’re sure to keep on fighting”.
ALESSANDRO TONELLI (VF Group – Bardiani CSF – Faizanè)
“It was a relatively quiet day until the final part, when the teams pushed to put their best options in front. We had to be with the group and we did it”.
“The truth is that the first day’s double has the whole team very happy, but without taking our eyes off what lies ahead. Tomorrow we expect a quiet day for the general classification, so we’ll try to work so that our sprinters have a chance to win”.