David Valero will be at NEOM19/10/2022
Born in Baza, the name of David Valero has been known for years to all mountain bike fans. For the wider public, perhaps, his explosion came at the Olympic Games in Tokyo last summer. There, the BH Templo Cafés rider won a bronze medal in the XCO (Olympic cross-country) discipline. The same medal that his teammate Carlos Coloma won at Rio 2016.
“That medal gave me a lot of peace of mind,” he explains. This is how Valero justifies why his last season has gone so well: world number one in his discipline, silver medal at the World Championships and up to 10 victories in different races. His last race in 2022 will be the NEOM Titan Desert in Saudi Arabia.
The rider from Granada acknowledges that it will be his first appearance in a Titan World Series race, but he expects it to be “an adventure” and also “four days of good training”. But nobody should rule him out for the pools: “In the end, I’m a rider, I’m competitive and I’m sure that one day I’ll go for the victory”.
Before talking about your participation in the NEOM Titan Desert Saudi Arabia, what are your feelings about this season?
I am very, very happy. It has been the best season of my career. In the end, there is always a thorn in your side, especially when you finish second in the World Championship. Even so, I’m very happy and I’m looking forward to next season.
At the start of the season, did you expect it to go as well as it has?
I felt very good at the beginning. Above all, I was very calm after the Olympic Games. That bronze medal gave me a lot of peace of mind. In the end, the success of the season was a combination of motivation, having my mind set on the World Championships and seeing that the races were going well. I was getting good results.
And now, the NEOM Titan Desert Saudi Arabia…
Yes, I will put on my next bib in NEOM. I’m going to start the pre-season in a month. My idea is to use the NEOM Titan Desert Saudi Arabia to ride in good weather and start clocking up kilometres for 2023. It will be four days of good training.
And it will also be your first time in a Titan World Series race.
Yes, for me it will be the first time. The truth is that I’m a bit uncertain, although one thing that reassures me is that in NEOM you only have to follow the track and there’s not too much navigation. For me it’s going to be a very nice adventure. I must admit that I like all this kind of stuff. I’m sure I’ll have a good time.
Are you going with the idea of competing or just to train?
At the end of the day, I’m a rider, I’m competitive. I’m sure that one day I’ll go for the win. I know myself and I can’ t hold back. The idea is to do four good days of training. I also want to enjoy the people without the pressure of the race. That way I can be with the fans. If I can then try to get a victory, I’m sure it will be good for the team and the organisation.
What do you expect to find at the NEOM Titan Desert Saudi Arabia?
For me it’s a challenge. It’s an adventure. I have never raced a Titan World Series race. I’m racing something that is not my discipline, so I’m sure I’ll miss a lot of things. I will learn to navigate and race in a different way. I think I’ll come back in other editions. And, if I can compete, then I’ll compete in it. It would be a very nice title to add to my trophy cabinet.