OPINION: Enric Mas sends a warning to Movistar Team from Switzerland: Find a plan B for the Tour de France

Since finishing second in the 2022 Vuelta a España showing a great level against Remco Evenepoel and Primoz Roglic the good Enric Mas has been able to achieve the same level. In fact, the best we've seen from the Movistar Team leader since then was fighting with Tadej Pogacar in a couple of stages of the Vuelta a Andalucía 2023. From then on, nothing at all.

CiclismoAlDia's Juan Larra analyses the topic... Last year was more than disappointing for the Spaniard: sixth in Tirreno Adriatico behind men like Lennard Kämna or Giulio Ciccone, fifth in the Itzulia behind Ion Izagirre or David Gaudu, 17th in the Flèche Wallonne, withdraw at the Tour de France and sixth overall in the Vuelta being the third best Spaniard after Juan Ayuso and Mikel Landa. In the Giro dell'Emilia, which he won in 2022, he finished fourth. In Lombardia (second in 2022) he was not able to finish on the top 10.

We could talk about a bad year, but 2024 didn't start any better (quite the contrary). He started his season late, entering directly into Tirreno-Adriatico in March, finishing with a discreet 12th place. He then improved somewhat in the Volta a Catalunya, although he could not get past fifth place 2:40 behind second place Mikel Landa (not counting the distance with Tadej Pogacar) and equal in time with Chris Harper. In Romandie he was sixth with men like Ilan Van Wilder or Florian Lipowitz ahead of him.

He could have the excuse in his first race on Swiss soil that there were no big climbs. He could have the excuse in Tirreno and Catalunya of being out of shape. But he has arrived at the Tour de Suisse and the sensations are the same. It seems that the rivals don't matter if they are Pogacar, Landa or Bernal, or if they are Ayuso and Rodriguez, or if they are like Adam Yates João Almeida or Mattias Skjelmose: Enric seems to move in mediocrity.

Yesterday, in the fourth stage of the Swiss race, the first high mountain stage, Enric was left out of the fight of the favorites. He entered the "comfortable" group with Oscar Onley, Felix Gall, Cian Uijtdebroeks and Matthew Riccitello: that seems to be his level. He couldn't follow the attacks of Adam Yates, Mattias Skjelmose, João Almeida and Egan Bernal...

Thus, he is seventh overall and his aspiration seems to be to return to a fifth place which he could be relatively comfortable but which would not do him any good at all in terms of regaining confidence.

If he is not able to maintain his level I think he is sending a very clear message to Movistar Team for the next Tour de France: do not make the mistake of taking an '8' to accompany me in order to fight for the overall, take a team with alternatives to fight for stages in as many terrains as possible.

We will see if Enric is able to improve his sensations in the remainder of the Tour de Suisse and if he is able to recover his best level in the Tour, a race in which he was fifth in 2020 and sixth in 2021: it is difficult to think of respecting those results nowadays...

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