It takes some first-year professionals months, even years, to adapt to the ProTour peloton and the accompanying increase in speed and difficulty. However, evidently Adam Blythe is a quick learner.
On his Omega Pharma-Lotto debut at the Tour of Majorca, the British talent wasted no time in getting to the head of affairs. He followed a top-fifty finish in the opening day’s circuit race by sprinting to thirteenth in yesterday’s Trofeo Cala Millor.
“That was good, I got a bit of help from the team before the end,” he said. “With four kilometres to go, I was on Robbie McEwen’s wheel but just lost it in a corner, as it got a bit tight and twisty. Then I just had to try and get back up there.”
Rabobank rider Oscar Freire claimed the race win; just behind in thirteenth, Blythe notably finished three places ahead of three-time Tour de France green jersey winner McEwen.
Unsurprisingly, the 20-year-old has noticed a considerable difference to the kind of racing he’s been used to: “Everything’s a lot faster and the racing is a lot more controlled.”
Nevertheless, his first experiences in the ProTour bunch haveencouraged Blythe. “It’s good that I know I can sprint with them, it’s just getting in the right places, which is a bit hard when you’re on your own,” he commented.
After sitting out the forthcoming couple of hilly races in the five-race series, which uniquely allows squads to field a different team each day, Blythe is hoping to perform well at the flatter Trofeo Magaluf on Thursday.
He then travels to Portugal for the Tour of the Algarve (February 17-21).