It’s been twelve years since Ezequiel Mosquera’s last pedal strokes as a professional cyclist (Teo, 47 years old), with that mythical outcome of La Vuelta 2010 in which He pushed Vincenzo Nibali to the limit at the World Ball premiere. Now, after turning the page on the two-year ban that he had to serve for an abnormal result in an anti-doping control and from which he was acquitted by the National Court in 2015 for a formal defect, The Galician has been focused for several years, as head honcho of the organizing company Emesport, on his work director of the O Gran Camiño. In its second edition held last week, the Galician round showed great potential in the future that Mosquera talks about in AS, as well as showing his Support runners for their professionalism despite the adverse weather.
-Are you satisfied with the outcome of O Gran Camiño? What is your balance?
-Yes of course. And, somehow, I wanted to have an opportunity to express my appreciation to the runners. I already did it to him on his day, but in circumstances like this, in addition to the fact that I often thank the teams or all the people who carried out the event, in the end they were the ones who suffered from the weather and I wanted to express it publicly.
-It has merit to carry out a race that became so complicated due to the snow and the cold.
-Everything we faced last year was faced this year. In the end, although in the first stage we had already passed the worst, the truth is that it was so fast and so sudden that there was almost no time for anything. The third day was all more tense, above all with the precedent of the first stage. As filmmakers, we also didn’t want to do anything that was against the best interests of everyone and the teams. We had that negotiation and, fortunately, the stage went well for what it could have been.
-Are you concerned for future editions that the riders would set a dangerous precedent by getting off the bike so that the stage would be cancelled?
-The feeling I have is that no. There is one very important thing, that I went a bit on the buses the next day to feel the feeling of the teams and to apologize. In the end, I barely had to apologize because they were almost apologizing to me for getting off. There are situations where I think the organizer should be on the rider’s side and in this case I as a cyclist would probably have gotten off as well. It is true that it was very sudden, we did the whole stage with low temperatures but with sun and after 20 km it began to twist. Once we crossed the finish line the first time, everything became dramatic at times. It was impossible to continue, there were those who wanted to continue, there were those who did not. These are decisions that have to be made in consensus with the stewards and in the end that got complicated in a matter of minutes.
-To avoid this type of situation, are you considering moving the race to other dates?
-I’m not afraid of snow from Galicia, but of rain and wind. Snow is not common here, we are experiencing a cold wave that is affecting all of Spain. Changing dates is dangerous, it is difficult to find another date because the calendar is very saturated with great tests and when you want to enter you have to: do it very well; and another, find your place and make yourself strong in your place. It can be bad weather, but not dramatic like these days.
-Is it possible for the race to rise to the .Pro category in 2024?
-We already had that possibility on the table in 2022. In fact, it is something that we will ask for again (to the ICU). There is one thing that we believe is obvious and that the teams confirm it, and what they say is that we spare no resources at the production level, not only audiovisual, but at all levels. We don’t want to be a small race, we have the physical, human, illusion and territory to have a big race.
-Vingegaard already announced that he would like to repeat next year.
Yes, we would welcome you with open arms. The production of the race, which I understand she liked, will be much better. The fact that he, as the winner, talked about the race in this way, motivates us and gives us the cachet we need to move up the category, which is an obvious objective that we have, not because of the category itself, but because of the points. Right now, in general terms, the laps are devalued compared to the classic ones: a classic 2.1 is worth 120 points and one lap too, a classic 2.1 is worth 120 points, a stage 2.1 is 14… Someone told me that I still have to do four classics in Galicia, but I don’t believe in that concept, in Spain we are a country of laps and we have to value them.
-Thinking about the next edition, is it feasible for other big names like Pogacar to join the list?
-The more that come from these runners, the better. Yes, it is true that we fit the race on these dates for a reason, and that is to take advantage of the fact that the structures are already in Spain (for the preseason) and that they stay while the classics do not travel. Also to serve as preparation for big races like Paris-Nice and Tirreno. If you want to prepare a Paris-Nice, you do nothing on the cobblestones of Belgium. We have a better climate than in Central Europe and a territory to do fancy things. In any province I can do any type of stage: mountain, time trial… Stages of these that create fans, and the fans are not on the superhighways of Saudi Arabia. The fans must be created and it is generated based on preparing the routes very well.