Melcior Mauri conquered the Titan Desert in 2007, in what was only the second edition of the queen bike test over the Moroccan desert. This year the 16th is being celebrated, although the Catalan, 55, recognizes that it is coming “to enjoy, without objectives”. He is one of the leaders of the KH7, the one who is in charge the afternoon before each stage of making the tracks and the GPS so that his companions go along the correct route and, over the desert, the one who leads the march and the changes of trajectory to be taken. “Yes, it could be that it is one of the wheels to follow among the peloton in that aspect (behind outstanding leaders). My goal here is to introduce new people to the team and coordinate. For example, I try to call a fellow ex-runner, like Abraham Olano, and have them come and run, “he tells AS next to the dunes of Erg Chebbi.
The cyclist from Vic was a professional from 1987 to 2003, achieving 37 victories throughout his career, the most important triumph being that of the general of La Vuelta in 1991. Many are the participants in the Titan who, in the camp, ask for a photo or chat with Mauri. “For me it is satisfying, a nice memory of my sporting heritage. Many times it is they who remember anecdotes or exact moments in my career that sometimes don’t even ring a bell anymore “, bill. However, perhaps his greatest tribute is … in Belgium. Mauri Vansevenant (22 years old), a promising Deceuninck rider who already premiered his record this season and also raced La Vuelta 2021 (he finished 101st), bears that name in honor of Melcior. His father, who was also a runner, put it on.
“My father has had a good influence on me, he gave me good advice. He loves to ride a bike in even my name is in honor of the Spanish runner and winner of La Vuelta Melcior Mauri “, explained the young Belgian talent some time ago, when it was renewed by Deceuninck until 2023. “It is something that makes me proud. When I found out that the runner had my last name as his first name I loved it. I want to meet him, I would be excited “, Mauri wishes as he rests in the Erg Chebbi desert.. Vansevenant’s father, Wim Vansevenant, raced from 1994 to 2008, achieved a career triumph and came last in three of the five Tour de France that ended. “I don’t remember having contact with the father while he was competing. I imagine it was his own decision to name his son for me,” says Melcior.
Now one of the mainstays of the KH-7 in the desert, he also follows road cycling closely, as he is a commentator for La Ser during the Tour and La Vuelta. “Cycling has a great time with the Pogacar, Van Aert, Roglic, Bernal, Alaphilippe … although my favorite is Van der Poel. I really like his way of running, his self-confidence, but the time will come when he will have to decide which modality to do only to better plan the seasons, “he argues. Among the Spanish, he trusts” that the young kids who are leaving will do a good job. , although he acknowledges that “there has been a gap in recent years.” A drought that is still much more pronounced in the time trial: “Olano and I were world champion and runner-up in the same year (1998), Indurain and Olano himself were Olympic gold and silver in 1996 … and now you think when are we going to repeat that. “ What Mauri does know is that his future, “if time permits,” will continue to be linked to the Titan Desert. “I would like to continue here year after year.” A benchmark in the desert.