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"But I don't see myself as someone with a lot less experience. I just see myself as one of the riders who are here to race. I finished both Amstel and Flèche and I want to complete the set tomorrow," Matej Mohoric said.

Photo: Sirotti




27.04.2014 @ 09:45 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

Lining up at the Liege-Bastogne-Liege today, Matej Mohoric will be the youngest rider to feature in the jubilee 100th edition of the oldest monument in cycling, with an ambition to complete the Ardennes triptych during his first season as a professional.


"There's a great ambience in these races but the parcours have been great too," he told Cyclingnews as he waited for his Cannondale team to be called up onto the stage.


At the age of only 19, Mohoric is, in fact, the youngest rider in the WorldTour, but considering that the Cannondale rider won U23 World Championships during his first year in that category last season, he is expected to make equally quick progress among professionals.


However, the 19-year old Slovenian is aware that first season in the professional peloton is all about gaining experience, and he expects nothing different from his appearance in the Liege-Bastogne-Liege today, hoping that tough lessons learned on hilly Ardennes courses will bear fruits in the future.


Mohoric expressed satisfaction with his two recently finished Ardennes classics, especially with the Amstel Gold Race, where he featured in day’s main breakaway making a good use of parcours he tackled during the 2012 World Championships in Valkenburg.


"The difference," he points out, "is that here all the guys are champions and it's a different story. I'm sure that in couple of years things will change and I'll get stronger and become a better cyclist."


Even though young Cannondale rider lines up at Liege with an ambition to continue his education simply by finishing the race, he acknowledges that La Doyenne parcours suits his characteristics most from all Ardennes classics.


"I especially like the one from Liège with its longer climbs that suit me better. I'm looking forward to tomorrow to see how it goes. I know it's going to be a really long race and really hard for a 19 year old, but I'll do my best as I always do and we'll see what happens."


"They've put me in the race in order to gain experience for the future. There's no pressure but the team just want us to give everything that we can. I made it into the break in Amstel and that was a good experience because I got to see the course better and that will help me in the future when it comes to remember the course. Tomorrow I'll just try and finish as well as I can."


"But I don't see myself as someone with a lot less experience. I just see myself as one of the riders who are here to race. I finished both Amstel and Flèche and I want to complete the set tomorrow."


"In a couple of years I could be up there in the finals but for now it's not so much about results, it's more about being satisfied and happy with my surroundings."


Following his WorldTour debut in Australia, where Mohoric rode both the Santos Tour Down Under and Herald Sun Tour, the 19-year old Slovenian participated in the Trofeo Laigueglia, GP Izola, GP di Lugano and Settimana Coppi e Bartali before heading to the Ardennes classics. Asked about the most important lesson he had learned so far this season, Cannondale rider pointed out to a huge role of a whole team working together.


"The biggest lesson I've learnt is that the team is everything. You can't do much without a team. In terms of life, you just need to stay the person that you are, always be honest and tell the truth."



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