An interview with Abel Mustieles Garcia
by Ben Swales
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1.- Hi Abel, first of all, thanks very much for being available to talk to us after each competition and congratulations on your excellent position today in the first round of the World Cup. Did you expect to do so well?
Abel: Hi Alvaro! Thank you for talking to me! It’s great to be able to tell people what happened so that the fans can hear it first hand. Once I’d got through the semi-final, yes, I was expecting to finish quite high, two of the top riders, Carles y Kumo, didn’t qualify and Hoffman wasn’t there. For the whole competition I was expecting to finish third, but a couple of stupid mistakes held me back and everything hinged on the final section. On the second move of the section they gave me a point when I grazed the obstacle with my toe which meant that I was relegated to fourth place. I was a bit disheartened by that which I think is why I didn’t make the hook later in the section and ended up with a five.
Abel: I think that the way I ride comps has started to get a bit like that, I hate putting a foot down because I generally believe that I can make each move, so yes, I think I probably do take a lot of risks, on almost every move, unless it’s impossible. I like riding in this way and I don’t think I’ll change any time soon, even if this time it was detrimental. There are advantages and disadvantages.
3.- What was the key to doing well in this trial? How did you get on in the sections? Is there any room for improvement?
Abel: I’m not sure what the key is, I think training hard and trying difficult moves and sections helps a lot. I’ve been trying to perfect a lot of things and learn new techniques for a long time now, usually with Benito. We always try and set ourselves difficult targets but always have fun at the same time. Maybe that’s the key – to keep enjoying yourself! I think I rode well today, my head was screwed on, although I’m a bit slow in the sections which means if something doesn’t go perfectly I have to rush a bit to get through the section in time. I need to improve my out-of-section habits – resting, eating etc., on the second lap today I didn’t have much energy, I think it’s because I didn’t eat anything…
4.- How was the organisation today? Were the sections good enough?
Abel: The sections were really good; there were plenty of difficult moves and they were great overall. The only thing that I didn’t like was the same thing that happened last year: in the semis they’d set the sections too hard and changed them for the second lap, meaning that the 26” riders had it much easier. I’d like it to be a bit more even in the semis, it’s not the first time that this has happened. Then at the end of the day their scores are much, much lower than ours, which although it doesn’t affect me directly, it makes the 20” riders look bad in comparison.
Abel: Dani was riding really well and this time Benito couldn’t keep up with him. Benito was having a really bad day, from the semis onwards he wasn’t happy with his performance and it was playing on his mind. But everyone has a bad day from time to time, right? The same thing happened last year in Ripoll and Benito went on to have a spectacular World Cup season. I don’t think you should read too much into this result, let’s wait and see how the rest of the season goes. Congratulations to Dani anyway!
As for the other riders, the results of the semis surprised me, especially with Carles and Kumo not qualifying, but I think the way the semis were observed was a bit odd. They’ll be back in the final next time, just you wait and see.
6.- Thanks again for taking the time to talk to us – good luck with the rest of the season!
Abel: Thank you for coming along to all the comps and for all that you guys do!
Photos by Mireia Martín
Photos by Arnau Urgell & Gerard Garcia (ElRipollès.info).