By GUY WILLIAMS
Queenstown pro cyclist Reuben Thompson hasn’t had time to reflect on his breakthrough win in Italy nearly a fortnight ago.
The 20-year-old had only three days to recover after claiming the yellow jersey, King of the Mountains jersey and the points classification in the under-23 Giro Ciclistico Valle d’Aosta, which finished on July 18.
He was back on the road with his Equipe Groupama FDJ team in the five-day Tour Alsace, in France, which finished last Sunday.
Thompson tells Mountain Scene he ended up riding for a teammate after his team missed a breakaway on stage 4, leaving him and veteran Swiss rider Sebastien Reichenbach — a World Tour veteran with podium finishes in the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia under his belt — back in the peloton.
He used his energy to bring the breakaway group back to the peloton, helping Reichenbach into second and finishing 29th himself.
He hasn’t dwelt on his victory in Italy, focusing instead on his next goals, he says.
As for boosting his self-belief and drive, he already had it.
‘‘I already believed I was capable of riding like this, so it’s just really reassuring to show everyone else what I already knew.’’
Next week he’ll race with Equipe Groupama FDJ’s World Tour team in the five-day Tour of Burgos, in Spain.
It’ll be his second outing with the pro team after riding in the Tour of the Alps in May.
Thompson says the short recovery time between some races is not a problem.
‘‘We train so hard during the rest of the year, so when we come to these races, we have
no problem handling the workload.
‘‘I had really great legs after a few intense days in Italy, and good recovery after.’’