SEAN YATES

SPORTS DI­REC­TOR

Procycling - - Prologue -

At 42, Mat­teo still had what it takes to race at the WorldTour. His prin­ci­pal job this year was to keep Al­berto Con­ta­dor out of trou­ble on !lat stages and be there as a body­guard. He never let us down. You couldn’t ex­pect him to get over big­ger climbs and be there late in the race but we DSs and he him­self knew what he could do and so he was de­ployed ac­cord­ingly. With 30-odd Grand Tours un­der his belt he wasn’t bounc­ing o! f the walls with en­thu­si­asm and, yeah, he could be a grumpy old git some­times but if he put his hand up and said he’d do some­thing, you knew damn well that he’d do it.

There are a thou­sand guys out there with the same phys­i­cal abil­ity but you can’t count on them to do the job he does. Maybe they have an­other agenda, men­tally can’t hack it, want to be good the day af­ter or they’re wor­ried about get­ting elim­i­nated. Tosatto was the op­po­site. There were cer­tain stages that had a 2"3km climb in the end, which would nor­mally be be­yond him phys­i­cally. Some­how he man­aged to get there to help. You’d look at the back of the pelo­ton and other clim­bers are get­ting dropped. It just shows you the level of phys­i­cal and men­tal e! fort he puts in.

Mat­teo was ob­vi­ously dis­ap­pointed not to go across with Al­berto [to Trek-Se­gafredo]. His en­thu­si­asm may have waned but you can see that cy­cling still mat­ters deeply to him. If he comes back as a DS, with all his ex­pe­ri­ence I’m sure he’ll do bril­liantly. He still has a lot to o! fer cy­cling.

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