We know – the Track Worlds is a distant memory, the road season is well under way and anyway, who cares about the track, least of all when it’s Columbia?
Example – who’s the male World Individual Pursuit Champion?
It’s Alex Edmondson of Australia – if you’re interested.
If you’re an old man like me you can remember the coolest of men like Ritter, Moser, Schuiten, Thurau, Ekimov and Porter on pursuit podiums – but that’s another story.
But we’re die hard track fans here at VeloVeritas and one of several results which caught our eye from Columbia – along with Pervis’s brilliant sprint treble and the Kiwis winning the team sprint – was the madison result, with Spaniards Albert Torres and David Muntaner taking the crown in Cali.
The last time the title went to Spain was in 2006 when the brilliant Juan Llaneras paired with the late Isaac Galvez in Bordeaux to take the championship of an discipline which has been in existence since 1898.
David Muntaner is perhaps not a name you’re familiar with but he’s a hugely talented and versatile track and time trial rider.
His first national medal we make as the junior time trial silver in 2000; since then he’s won that discipline and on the track he’s lifted the elite scratch, pursuit, team pursuit, points and madison championships of his nation.
In World Cups he’s been on the podium in the madison, omnium, points and madison.
There was a Worlds madison silver in 2013 and there have been Six Day podiums to boot.
The Spaniards gained notoriety in the Six Days this last winter for riding World Cup gears [100” plus] where most still ride around 90” maximum.
Big gears are fine for one hour World Cups – but for two chases each night every night for six days they’re leg breakers.
But apparently not if you come from Majorca . . .
David recently very kindly agreed to speak to VeloVeritas about his elevation to World Champion status.
What was the plan for Cali, David?
“In Cali our plan was go for the win!
“Last year in Minsk we were second and this year our goal was to get the world champion jerseys in the madison – that was the main ambition of the season for us.”
How did you handle the altitude?
“The altitude was not difficult for us; we were there for 15 days before – we had a very good acclimatisation period so we didn’t feel any effect during the race.”
What happened with the Belgians – apparently they thought they’d won?
“When the race finished the results screen was showing that Belgium had won; the commissars didn’t count the gain we made in the last 15 laps – it was a bit confusing, but then they watched the video replay and it was all OK for us.”
You were second in the 2013 Worlds – how much did that motivate you for Cali?
“It motivated me a lot; the Worlds last year showed me that Albert and I can win – so since that time I have worked hard to win this year.”
Then second in the 2013 Euro Madison Champs – you must have wanted a title, badly?
“Yes, in the European Madison Championships we were also second; whilst we wanted to win we knew our shape was still not 100% so it was a good result and very motivating for worlds.”
Tell us about riding World Cup gears in the Six Day chases – was that part of a long term plan for the Worlds?
“Yes that was part of the training, we know that to the win world championships you need bigger gears than in the Six Days – so we rode a bigger gear and we tried to simulate the kind of racing we’d need to do in the Worlds or World Cups.
“In the Sixes when we went for a lap it was like a training drill for the worlds.
“It was a good training and good for our technique.”
The UCI qualifying for the Worlds is more complex now, how did affect you?
“Last year we found out in June that we didn’t have the points to qualify us to ride World Cups; so we needed to find races where we could get the required points during summer.
“It was quite difficult as we had to make our season longer than we wanted and start later for this year – but finally we accumulated the points we needed.”
You lead the UCI world madison rankings too, that must be a good feeling?
“Yes it’s a good feeling to also lead the UCI ranking; I think it’s the result of hard work last year and of good results, so we are very happy.”
You rode team pursuit too – fifth in qualifying, so close to a medal ride.
“Yes, that was a good result, just 0:5 seconds from the medal ride, so we were very happy about that.
“We have never been so close at the Worlds, I think Spain has a strong team now and if we get more training together we can be still get better.”
Have you heard yet if the madison will be back for Rio 2016?
“No still no news; I remain hopeful that it will be – but it does not look certain.
“It would be a dream to race the Olympic madison.”
You have many national titles – how many and in which disciplines?
“I have around 30 but I don’t know exactly.
“The disciplines are: madison, pursuit, scratch, points race, team pursuit, omnium, team sprint, and time trial on road.”
And you ride the road, too – what are your best results?
“Yes this year I start my first season as a professional with the Active Jet team.
“My best results are second and third in the senior national championships time trial – and I won the junior time trial.
“Last year I won the Tour of Gila in the USA overall and also one stage.”
You’re with a Polish team for 2014, how did that come about?
“I get an offer from them in September; they were interested in my track career – it was a good chance also to do a road so I was very happy to get the offer.”
How is the Spanish road and track scene?
“On the road there are now not many teams and not much money.
“On track the national team looks like it is starting to improve again, we got good results in the team pursuit and the guys are strong so I think with little more work we can be up in the medals.”
How does your summer programme look?
“For the summer I have my road calendar; it’s very busy with a lot of races – now my focus is on a good road season and good results.”
The Six Days in the rainbow jersey, you must be looking forward to that?
“Yes we are really looking forward to racing as world champions – we raced with our rainbow jerseys at the Revolution meeting; it was amazing!
“So for sure we look forward to riding our rainbow jerseys in the Six Days next winter.”