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A look at the school, the races and the future of this unique 'sport'
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Jordi Simon (Caja Rural)
Spanish amateur tipped for big things after finishing 20th at Tour of Murcia
In all the fuss surrounding Alberto Contador’s performance and victory at the Tour of Murcia earlier this month, it was easy to miss an outstanding ride by another Spanish rider who is earning fulsome praise from Spanish national coach José Luis De Santos and the Spanish press.
Jordi Simón finished 20th after the three days of racing in Murcia, which is no mean effort given that it was his first appearance at that level and that he is only 20. Usually one of the leaders on Caja Rural’s amateur team, Simón rode Murcia in the colours of the Spanish national team and showed exceptional form all-round, finishing 19th in the tough Sierra Espuña mountain stage and 53rd in the final day time trial in Murcia to end the race just 3:38 down on Contador.
The subject of glowing reports in the Spanish press, Simón started cycling in 2005 when he finished second in his local hill-climb in Catalonia riding on a borrowed bike for fun. His next step was to go out with his local bike club, again on a borrowed bike and wearing tennis shoes. Having been told to stop and call his parents for a lift when he felt tired, Simón rode 100km with the club, then rode everyone off his wheel on a climb. “What would he be like if he had proper shoes?” the other riders wondered.
The short answer is very promising. He’s subsequently progressed steadily, showing good ability in time trials and on the climbs. “Last year I took him to several races and he really pleased me,” Spanish coach De Santos told Meta2Mil. “He’s very methodical, serious and organised, he knows what he wants and that he’s going to get it… Last year I took him to the Circuito Montañés and he coped with it extremely well. This year I want to take him to some of our international races.”
Simón’s biggest problem was combining his racing and training commitments with his technical architecture studies at the University of Girona. Having finished his studies, Simón decided he wanted to commit himself to racing full-time and took up an offer from Caja Rural’s amateur team. His goal? “My dream is to ride the Tour de France one day.”
His performance in Murcia moved him a big step closer to that dream.