“Tell us what we’re doing wrong, or stop now and apologise” – Matej Mohorič says raids impacted his team at Tour de France

Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious) said the police raids on his Bahrain Victorious team had a negative impact on their opening week performance.

Authorities began investigating the team during the 2021 Tour de France when, on a rest day in Pau, they raided the team’s hotel. Mohorič said at the time that it made him feel “like a drug dealer”.

As part of the ongoing anti-doping investigation, some riders and team staff had also had their homes searched before traveling to Denmark for the start of this year’s Tour de France.

Then, a day before the start of the race, they received a wake-up call at 5:30 a.m. from the Copenhagen hotel police.

Speaking on the second rest day of the race, Mohorič said weekly cycling“It’s not nice to have to go through that again knowing you didn’t do anything wrong. You end up questioning yourself. Asking if you did something wrong that you didn’t know about, but in the end I have a clear conscience, I have done nothing wrong and I respect my values.”

Asked about the impact of the raid in Copenhagen, the Slovenian explained that the timing was bad and had an impact on team morale in the first week of the Tour.

“It certainly didn’t help the morale of the team. Also since it’s been going on for so long now. We’re like, ‘Tell us what we’re doing wrong? Or maybe stop now and apologize,” he said.

Mohorič added: “Maybe they should come and see us in the training camps, see how hard we work. Start again one day before the biggest race of the year after being quiet for so long, I don’t know, it’s a little weird.

As well as a stressful start to the race, Bahrain Victorious was hit hard when Jack Haig, their main GC hope, crashed and had to retire after stage five.

“It was not easy to lose Jack like that. I know how hard he worked to prepare for this,” the Slovenian said. With Haig forced to retire, Mohorič explained that the attention of the he team turned to Damiano Caruso within two weeks.

“We still have Damiano [Caruso], he feels good and is going for the GC now. The fact that we lost Jack gave everyone else more freedom to get into the breakaways and try to chase the stage wins. Although it was not easy with the way the race went,” said Mohorič.

Last week’s cobbled stage in Arenberg brought plenty of drama and saw several incidents involving top riders crashing. Mohorič’s Slovenian compatriot Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) was one of the riders caught in the fray, even though the Milan-San Remo champion doesn’t see race organizers scrapping stages anytime soon paved.

Mohorič said, “It’s not the first time they’ve had this and I think people like watching it. The organizers want people to be excited about the race and watch it. Unfortunately, it is inevitable that this will hurt some GC contenders and people who have sacrificed a lot of time to be ready for the race.

Matej Mohoric wins Milan-San Remo 2022

(Image credit: Getty/Tim de Waele)

Mohorič said he hoped to put his slow start to the Tour de France behind him. The 27-year-old noted that when breakaway opportunities materialize in the coming stages, he will look to grab them with both hands.

“If I start to feel a bit better physically and I take a break, I will definitely seize the opportunity with both hands and aim for a stage victory. We will see what happens,” he said. declared.

Mohorič added: “The race was tough and we saw a lot of guys struggling, you never know how your body is going to react when you’re under such pressure. It’s hard to tell in advance if you’ll have a good day, you just have to wait and see.”

THE MOUNTAINS WILL DECIDE

Tadej Pogačar started the race in brilliant fashion, winning two stages and taking the yellow jersey from Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma). Despite the defending champion’s form, Matej Mohorič believes the race is still wide open and his compatriot is beatable.

“Certainly, I think Vingaard has proven that he is also very good and ready. Vingegaard is, I think, more suitable for longer climbs and we still have many mountain stages to come,” said Mohoric.

During some much-needed downtime on the second day of rest, Mohorič explained that he was looking to enjoy some reading time and escape from the chaos that a big tour brings. The Slovenian explained that he read Where the Crawdads sing by Delia Owens during this year’s race and that a book offered him a form of escape.

“I think nowadays we have to rest more, you always have to read messages on your phone and social media and never rest properly, you know. With a book you can enter a different dimension,” Mohorič said.

Once racing resumes today, all systems will be on at Bahrain Victorious. Matej Mohorič will be ready and prepared to fight in a hunt for a stage victory in the Tour de France final.

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