One of the great sensations of the 2021 season has undoubtedly been Barcelona’s Marcel Camprubí. The Catalan rider (15 September 2001), in his first season as an exclusive cyclist, finished second in the very tough Spanish Championships held in Alicante, took a partial victory in the revamped Vuelta a Madrid, finished in the top-ten in two races of the Spanish Cup (Trofeo Guerrita, 6th; Vigo Copa de España, 8th) and in the top fifteen in four others (GP Primavera Ontur, 11th; Memorial Pascual Momparler, 12th; Memorial Valenciaga, 13th; Santikutz Klasika-Legazpi, 15th).
Camprubí comes from the world of triathlon, where he already competed as a cadet, but it was an injury from which he never got better that gradually consolidated his presence in the two-wheeled discipline. “I started triathlon in the third year of secondary school or so, because two of my friends were doing it. Because I was with them too, one day I took up the sport. And in the end I liked it. I competed mainly at the Catalan level. At the international level I only took part in a qualifying event for the Youth Games, but I didn’t get a place. When I did triathlon I competed with Natació Barcelona and even then I would go out on some Saturdays with a group or two. Smartdry offered me to run with them, I did a couple of social races and that’s when I started to see that I really liked it. The next thing was to go to the Antiga Casa Belsola U23”, he recalls.
His first year as an exclusive cyclist ended with some interesting performances. “The truth is that this year, in which I have been more focused, hasn’t gone badly at all. The national sub-championship was a great result, but then I’ve been quite consistent and I’ve finished many times in the top twenty or thirty. After the nationals, several teams were interested in me. I was a bit hesitant at the time and the subject died down a bit. When I won the stage at the Vuelta a Madrid, that interest was revitalised again. In the end, what I wanted was to see the best options to fight to make the jump to the professional ranks one day. I think that’s how it is with the Contador Foundation”.
When asked what surprised him most about cycling compared to triathlon, the Catalan said: “The hardness. Triathlon and cycling are two different types of suffering, two different survival exercises. Triathlon is a suffering much more related to breathing at full throttle and the heart at maximum. In cycling you have to endure a lot of fatigue and when you open the throttle to go flat out, when the key moment arrives, you’re already exhausted from the accumulated effort”.
Camprubí particularly likes one climb: the Rat Penat. “Above all because it is very different from any other climb and because it has spectacular views over the Mediterranean. It’s no joke, and in fact every time I climb it I curse everything cursable, but it also fits my profile as a cyclist and I have to admit that I like it”. “Sometimes I say I’m a good climber, sometimes I think I’m better on the flat… I’m not really a sprinter,” he explains.
The new EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team U23 rider is another example of a cyclist who combines cycling with his studies. “I’m one of those who will graduate in ten years”, he jokes. “I am studying Business Studies at the Pompeu Fabra University. I’m doing well, but I’m going slowly, little by little, taking fewer credits. I like the degree, although there are always subjects with which you have more affinity than others… In my day-to-day life I think of ideas, possible businesses, whether a brand of nutrition, a brand of potentiometers… Of course I would like to set up a company related to sport, to cycling. It is very inspiring that Alberto Contador, for example, after such a successful career as a professional, and everything he has done, has been able to set up a bicycle company”.